Tomorrow marks the first time in 99 years that the continental United States is able to view the total eclipse.
The last total solar eclipse visible in the United States was in 1979. However, it was only viewable in the Pacific Northwest. This upcoming solar eclipse will be the first since 1918 that will be visible coast to coast.
Astronomer Dale Fields, a professor at Pierce College, wants to ensure people are safe during this event and that they have the information needed to view the eclipse in any U.S. city.
“Please have fun during this eclipse and be safe,” Fields said.
Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality, according to NASA.
The article continues by saying that the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers.
Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight.
CNN reported that looking directly at the sun during the time of the eclipse can damage the retinas, even if just for a moment. The safety glasses that are recommended will protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays coming off the sun.
For more safety tips, travel information and some advice from Maile Urbancic, an author and STEM major, click the link below.
In California, the eclipse will begin just after 9 a.m. and will reach maximum totality, 62 percent, at 10:21 a.m. At 11:45 a.m., it will end and the sun and daylight will return to normal.
A link to information about when and where the eclipse shows in your zip code can be found below.
Many locations are hosting viewing parties for the total eclipse. The Mt. Wilson and Griffith observatories are two such locations within Los Angeles.
Here are a few more. https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/event-locations
If you miss the eclipse tomorrow, the next total eclipse that can be viewed from the United States will be on April 8, 2024, according to earthsky.org.