Total solar eclipse all set to woo sky gazers on August 21 – All you need to know!

New Delhi: Sometime in the year 2014, American space agency NASA had confirmed the occurrence of a total solar eclipse in 2017.

On Monday, August 21, many Americans will be able to witness the phenomenon right from their porches.

Here is what you need to know:

  • The Great American Total Solar Eclipse will be visible in several states, including Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois.
  • This solar eclipse will be the first one ever since the year 1979, which means it is taking place after 99 years!
  • Tomorrow, the Earth will cross the shadow of the moon, creating a total solar eclipse. During the eclipse, the moon will pass between the Sun and Earth, blocking the face of the sun and leaving only its outer atmosphere, or corona, visible in the sky.
  • Those who won’t be able to view it directly can witness its live coverage on NASA’s website as well as YouTube.
  • As per NASA, crossing the country from Oregon to South Carolina over the course of an hour and a half, 14 states across the continental US will experience night-like darkness for approximately two minutes in the middle of the day.
  • NASA estimates that more than 300 million people will be able to view the most awaited celestial event.

Safety measures:

NASA recommends that people who plan to view the eclipse should check the safety authenticity of viewing glasses to ensure they meet basic proper safety viewing standards.

Besides that, they can also ensure that the eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the following criteria:

  • Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
  • Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
  • Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
  • Not use homemade filters
  • Ordinary sunglasses – even very dark ones – should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers

If you want to avoid eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers for some reason or don’t have either option, you can always go for an alternative method for safe viewing of the partially-eclipsed Sun, which is a pinhole projector.

With this method, sunlight streams through a small hole – such as a pencil hole in a piece of paper, or even the space between your fingers – onto a makeshift screen, such as a piece of paper or the ground. It’s important to only watch the screen, not the Sun. Never look at the Sun through the pinhole – it is not safe.