Viewing the solar eclipse safely

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) In less than 2 weeks part of the United States will go dark for a few minutes all thanks to a total solar eclipse.

It’s an out of this world experience many space enthusiasts are looking forward to – a total solar eclipse.

“Eclipses do happen on kind of a regular basis however they may not happen where you’re living. It may cross a swath over the Pacific Ocean,” says Director of Astronomy at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Jason Heaton.

But what makes this eclipse on August 21st so special is that all of the United States will be able to see at least a partial eclipse.

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the earth and sun. The moon casts a shadow on the Earth and ends up blocking part or all of the sun.

But before you look up there are a few things to consider. Never look directly at the sun, you can cause serious damage to your eyes. Eclipse glasses are available online or at local stores but be careful that they have the correct filter.

“If you were to point your phone camera here and if you see clouds they’re not safe. These glasses I can’t see a thing through them. The sun should be the only thing you should see through these glasses,” Heaton says.

If you were unable to get a pair of eclipse glasses there’s an easy way to safely view the eclipse with just using some items around your house. You can create what’s called a pinhole projector. Use a cardboard tube and put a piece of paper around it. Push pin to create a tiny hole, hold it up to the sun and you can view the eclipse on a piece of paper.

The eclipse will begin in Dayton around 1pm. That’s when the moon will slowly begin to cover the sun. At 2:28 the sun it will be 90 percent covered and will end shortly before 4 p.m.

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will have a telescope with a filter on it so you can see the eclipse.

You can visit the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery website to find out about the programs offered on August 21st.

If you miss this eclipse you’ll have to wait until 2024.

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