Seattle Library giving out free solar eclipse viewing glasses

Join millions across history on Aug. 21

Public Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at Science Spectrum

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun and blocks all or a part of the sun (depending on where you are viewing it). At its maximum, the moon will cover almost 77 percent of the sun.

The eclipse will be visible across the continental United States and is the first of its kind since 1979.

Total solar eclipses are rare events.

Some of the cities in the direct path of the moon's umbral shadow include Idaho City, Idaho; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Lincoln, Neb.; Kansas City, Mo.; Evansville, Ill.; Paducah, Kentucky; Nashville, Tenn.; and Columbia and Charlestown, S.C. In those areas, both the moon and sun will appear to be about the same size and darkness will occur.

"The partial eclipse will be pretty much for everybody".

The rest of the nation, in addition to Canada and Mexico, will have to settle for a partial solar eclipse, ranging from 50 to 99.9 percent across the nation as you get closer to or further away from the path of totality. They had to travel, sometimes across continents, where they were welcomed by the lucky locals of those total solar eclipses.

"The main message here is you don't ever, ever, ever want to look directly at the sun without these glasses at any time during the eclipse, even when the sun is nearly covered up", says Amy Twito with the Seattle Public Library.

The solar eclipse will be starting around 1:06 p.m.in Greater Sudbury, and it will last for about two-and-half hours, ending at 3:41 p.m.

The next total solar eclipse will happen July 2, 2019, but will only be visible in the southern hemisphere over the Pacific Ocean and South America. And then between 2:44 and 4:01 p.m.it will roll off and "we'll be back to a bright, sunny day". This won't be enough to produce a noticeable darkening of the daytime sky, but you might feel a slight cooling effect.

So mark your calendar and hope for a clear sky!

Dulsky warns everyone not to view the event with the naked eye, a telescope or binoculars without filters.

The symposium will provide free talks on the science and history of eclipses along with safe viewing practices. Because they are in such high demand (theoretically 300 million or so people in the US need them), you never now if there will be any delay with the shipping. The AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force has been working diligently to compile a list of such vendors, now posted on its Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers page.

NASA and the American Astronomical Society verified five manufacturers making solar eclipse glasses that meet all standards - American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium - AstroSolar Silver and Gold film only, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17. These will give you a magnified view that will clearly show the progress of an eclipse. The grid will show the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse.

Wellington told the story of a teenager in India who rejected instructions and chose to stare at the eclipse.

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