Today's Eclipse Information & Pet/Animal Safety

August 21, 2017
solar eclipse

Dreamstime

It's been 38 years since we’ve had a celestial event that has stirred up so much excitement but today we will experience a partial solar eclipse (a pretty substantial one). The shadow of the new moon will begin to block the sun's rays around 1:16pm this afternoon, with a maximum eclipse around 2:47pm (86% Ocala, 87% Gainesville & 88% Lake City) with the event over at 4:11pm. Even with a partial eclipsed sun, looking at the sun is dangerous and can blind you if you do not have proper eye protection such as certified solar glasses (in other words, DO NOT LOOK STARE AT THE SUN WITH YOUR EYES EVEN WHEN IT IS PARTIALLY ECLIPSED) .  Many rumors have been circulating about pets and animals in protecting their eyes during the eclipse.  Animal experts say there is a risk of them glancing towards the sun but like their human owners, pets have common sense or instinct to not stare directly at the sun, meaning the risk of eye damage is probably pretty low.  However animals that a circadian rhythms  may think it is time for sleep.  So birds may begin to chirp more frequently, squirrels may become more antsy.  NASA and the National Park Service is asking us to record animal behaviors, either audio or video, for an eclipse mega-movie.  Also the California Academy of Sciences is offering a free app for Apple and Android to capture animal’s reaction to the eclipse.  However weather forecasters are saying today that cloud clover is expected to be higher than normal, especially in the southeast that could block the entire event.  Fortunately NASA has several sources of video to watch it safely and without cloud cover with live video on their web site, Facebook Live [CLICK HERE], Twitter/Periscope [CLICK HERE], Ustream [CLICK HERE], YouTube [CLICK HERE] and NASA TV.  But if the clouds block of view, we can expect the next partial solar eclipse over North America visits Mexico, the United States and Canada on April 8, 2024 (about 50-60% covered in Florida). But the Big One for us will happen on August 12, 2045 and much of Florida is expected to have a total eclipse. 

SOURCE: Live Science

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