What Exactly is Going On With This Eclipse Thing?
- The total solar eclipse will peak on August 21st between 2:27-2:29 p.m., depending on the office location in our communities, and last approximately 2 minutes 40 seconds.
- The epicenter to view the eclipse is Hopkinsville, Kentucky which will experience a 100% total eclipse and is having a four day festival around the event. They’ve adopted the name Eclipseville in honor of the event.
- The next total eclipse that will cross the entire continental U.S. won’t happen again until 2045. This is the first total solar eclipse visible across the U.S. since 1918. The last total solar eclipse, like this one, that was only visible from the U.S. was 1776 (was it destiny, perhaps?).
- None of our offices will experience the total eclipse, but all will see at least 95% of the total eclipse.
- Here are the times, for each office, for when the eclipse reaches its peak and how much of a total eclipse will be seen:
- Clarksville (47129): 2:27:35 p.m., 95.6%
- Valley Station (40272): 2:27:43 p.m., 96.5%
- Springhurst (40241): 2:27:59 p.m., 95.4%
- Fern Creek (40291): 2:28:11 p.m., 95.9%
- Shepherdsville (40165): 2:28:13 p.m., 96.5%
- Elizabethtown (42701): 2:28:14 p.m., 97.6%
- Lebanon (40033): 2:29:40 p.m., 97.2%
- Now if you have to see 100% of the total solar eclipse, here's a handy map that shows drive times to the total solar eclipse path. All of our communities are within three hours of the total eclipse path.
How Do I Witness the Total Eclipse Safely?
That begs the question: How can I watch the Total Eclipse without burning holes in my retinas? First, let's get this out of the way: NO SUNGLASSES CAN PROTECT YOU DURING THE ECLIPSE. Sunglasses no matter how dark, polarized, or UV coated the lenses are, they will not protect you in any way shape or form. Now we don't think anyone would dare look at the sun directly with sunglasses, but do not assume just because a majority of the sun will be covered, that you could only wear sunglasses. Ok, now that we've established that, let's look at an inexpensive, easy way to view the eclipse safely.
An easy answer is eclipse glasses.
- Eclipse Glasses:
- These glasses can be composed out of paper or plastic, but it's the lenses that matter. These lenses are composed of a film that has a thin layer of silver, chromium or aluminium that will prevent harmful ultraviolet, infrared, and intense visible light from reaching your eyes.
- You want to look for specific certifications on the glasses to guarantee your eyes will be protected. Here's several important certifications to look for and tips on purchasing eclipse glasses:
- CE (European Conformity) Certification: This is the official governing body for Europe that tests all consumer products to guarantee their safety and protection. You want to look for this certification, specifically for the direct viewing of the sun while using the glasses.
- ISO (International Organization for Standardization): This is perhaps the most important certification to look for when purchasing eclipse glasses. Specifically, ISO 12312-2, Filters for Direct Observation of the Sun, and this is the hallmark safety certification for eclipse glasses.
- These certifications should appear on the eclipse glasses and the seller's site. Also, the paperwork of the testing company and the results of the testing should be available to confirm the claims made by the seller. If the seller cannot produce these documents of certification, DO NOT PURCHASE THOSE ECLIPSE GLASSES. This pertains to sellers online including Amazon to any brick and mortar store. Certified eclipse viewing glasses are usually a couple dollars a piece, so don't sacrifice your eye health for a couple quarters.
- When purchasing eclipse glasses, in addition to the certifications, be aware of the following:
- Make sure there is no visible damages to the lenses including wrinkles or nicks. This indicates the eclipse glasses have been handled improperly and the lenses may not protect your eyes.
- Make sure your eclipse glasses were manufactured in the last three years. Most eclipse glasses have a lifespan of three years due to the special coating on the lenses. Do not use old eclipse glasses, even in perfect condition, because the safety standards have changed and they most likely fall short of the protections currently required.
- Make sure the company you're buying from is reputable and not a random guy at the gas station handing them out. Sure, Scooter hasn't steered you wrong in the past about things, but let's not let him determine the future health of your vision.
- While the eclipse glasses protect your eyes during the solar eclipse, do not attempt to use binoculars, a camera, phone camera, or any magnifying device. This is because the eclipse glasses are designed to handle only so much ultraviolet, infrared, and intense light. These devices will enhance the light past where the eclipse glasses can offer protection. If you plan on using any of these items, special eclipse lens covers must be purchased for that device.
- NASA, in partnership with the American Astronomical Society, has verified that these five manufacturers are making eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products. Here are links to their websites: