Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Free Eclipse Glasses

The STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) has developed this map as an addition to its Eclipse Resource Center. Credit: NASA@ My Library initiative and the Moore Foundation.

It is now less than 8 weeks to the solar eclipse. You can experience the total eclipse anywhere along a narrow band stretching from Oregon to South Carolina.

If you are planning to view the eclipse then you will need a pair of eclipse glasses. Thanks to the Space Science Institute (SSI) and the generous sponsorship of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Research Corporation and Google, two million pairs of free eclipse glasses are being given away by participating libraries across the United States.

There are over 2,000 participating libraries. You can find your closest on the Participating Eclipse Libraries interactive map. The participating libraries will also have eclipse background information for anybody who wants to learn more about the astronomy of solar eclipses.

If you are still planning where to view the eclipse on August 21st then you might want to consult NOAA's Cloudiness Map of the Eclipse. The map not only shows you where you can see a total eclipse (the umbral path) but also tells you the chance of clouds along the eclipse's path, based on historical weather data.

The map includes a number of circles which are colored based on the chance of cloud cover. If you click on these circles you can view the percentage chance of having an unobstructed view of the eclipse (based on the amount of cloud cover at that location on August 21st in previous years).

Judging by the map Nebraska, Wyoming and Idaho are the states where you will have the best chance of an unobstructed view. However these states are not the best places to view the eclipse in terms of duration. If you want to experience the eclipse with the longest duration you need to be near Carbondale in Illinois, where the sun will be completely obscured for two minutes and 40 seconds.

NASA's Total Solar Eclipse Interactive Map also shows the path of the eclipse across the United States. NASA's map doesn't include information about the likelihood of cloud cover but it does allow you to find out the duration of totality (how long the sun will be obscured) anywhere along the eclipse's path. Just click anywhere on the map to discover the time of the eclipse at that location, how much of the sun will be obscured and how long the eclipse will last.
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