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On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur with the Earth crossing the shadow of the moon creating a total solar eclipse. The total solar eclipse will be fascinating as this has not occurred in almost 40 years. The whole continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting 2 to 3 hours (weather permitting). Halfway through the event, anyone within a roughly 70-mile wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a brief total eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds. The day will turn to night making visible the otherwise hidden solar cornea –the sun’s outer atmosphere along with bright stars and planets.
Safety Tips for Viewing the Solar Eclipse
- The only way to safely look directly at an eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand held solar viewers. To date, four manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.
- Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions on or packaged with filter.
- Always supervise children using eclipse glasses and solar filters.
- Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the sun. After glancing at the eclipsed sun, turn away and remove your filter – do not remove it while looking at the eclipsed sun.
- Do not look at the eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the eclipsed sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand held solar viewer – the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
- Sunglasses are never a substitute for eclipse glasses.
- Children that are 3 years of age or younger or those not mature enough to know the importance of following the viewing guidelines should not be permitted to view the eclipsed sun. Anyone below the age of reason should remain indoors with the shades closed.
Catholic High’s Plan for Students
In general, grades 4-8 will be in the Matt Gym at their breaks during peak hours of the eclipse. Grades 9-12 will be under covered areas with an option to go into the Matt Gym. Science teachers have been covering eclipse safety in their classes, but we also ask that parents remind students of the dangers of looking directly at the sun during the eclipse.