How To Safely Watch the Great American Solar Eclipse

July 26, 2017

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It's being billed as the Great American Solar Eclipse, the first total solar eclipse since 1979 will happen on Monday, August 21st and while we won't see a total solar eclipse here in Gainesville and Ocala, the moon's shadow will block 86% of the sun in Ocala and 87% of it in Gainesville peaking around 2:47pm.  That means a lot of people will be looking up to see this celestial event.  NASA is cautioning people not to stare directly into the sun, even when partially eclipsed.  They say homemade filter and ordinary sunglasses are not safe for looking at a partial eclipsed sun.  You should search out special-purpose solar filters, including "eclipse glasses" or hand-held solar viewers that safely protect your eyes.  NASA says there are four manufacturers have certified their eclipse glasses meet the international standards: Rainbow Symphony [CLICK HERE], American Paper Optics [click here], Thousand Oaks Optical [CLICK HERE] and TSE 17 [CLICK HERE]. Commemorative brands are nearly sold out and expect to pay around $20 for a package of multiple paper solar glasses or for a single, studier versions made of plastic. The next solar eclipse for North America will be in 2024 with about 60% of it viable in Gainesville and Ocala. The closest place to see a total eclipse during the Great American Solar Eclipse is Charleston, South Carolina. 


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