2017 Solar Eclipse

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2017 Solar Eclipse[edit]

Stardate 2017.08.21[edit]

Greetings greetings fellow star gazers! Today is a very special day! In band class a few years ago, our normal music lesson was derailed by talk of astronomy. I remember we talked about constellations, meteor showers, and finally lunar and solar eclipses. I asked google when the next solar eclipse was, and the computer replied the "next solar eclipse viewable in your area will occur on August 21, 2017". I promptly asked google to remind me to "look at the sun" on that day. Well, the day is here!

At time.com], you can enter your zip code to see a simulation of what the eclipse might look like in your area. For Virginians, the show starts around 1:00 this afternoon.

Now, for the engineers among you. If you aren't lucky enough to have a SunSpotter Solar Telescope, here are some things you can do to make the experience better..since you're not supposed to look directly at the sun.

  • NASA Eclipse 2017 - NASA's official Eclipse page
  • Can't Get Solar Eclipse Glasses? How to Make a DIY Viewer That Will Protect Your Eyes - Good article...especially check out the first part that talks about the leaves in trees!
  • “The easiest way which needs no equipment at all is to find a nice leafy tree and look under it during the partial phases of the eclipse,” Fienberg said. This will reveal plenty of crescent suns on the ground in the shadow of the tree where light peers through. Stretching out your arms and crossing your fingers over each other like a web can also reveal crescent-shaped shadows
  • Accuweather - How to Safely View the Total Solar Eclipse
  • National Geogrphic - Instructions on building a solar eclipse viewer using two sheets of paper.
  • Shoebox Solar Viewer - You'll need a shoebox, a square of aluminum foil, a piece of white paper, and a utility knife.
  • Safe Solar Viewer - This is the one I'm gonna build. Here's a video about it.
  • Stellarium - somewhat related..Stellarium is open source, cross platform, planetarium software. It's some of the best I've ever seen, and easily outdoes the paid for competition. (If you're running linux, its probably in your repositories...)
  • Remember, this is a wiki..feel free to add to this list!! If you don't have an account, send me an email, and I'll set you up! (matthews at shoremusic dot org)
  • Sun Funnel Plans - If you happen to have a telescope, you can refit it for solar observation. Here's a video too.

Enjoy it! We don't get the opportunity to view an eclipse very often! (The last one for me was when I was in elementary school!)