Viewing the Solar Eclipse, Safely

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A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is happening later this month when a total solar eclipse cuts a path across North America after a 99-year hiatus.

So if you don't have eclipse glasses all you need are two sheets of poster board or cardboard, and a nail. You can also scrub through the timeline to see what the entire event will look like! Before going to enjoy the fantastic astronomic spectacle, make sure your eyes are protected.

"We know many Wyoming communities will be treated to a total solar eclipse and that's something to be excited about", said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state epidemiologist and acting state health officer with WDH. You still need to be careful, as you should make sure you have chosen the suitable protective glasses which can really keep your eyes safe.

Is it worth the effort? The most unsafe time during an eclipse is when the sun is not fully blocked by the moon, during what's known as a partial solar eclipse.

Wherever you view the eclipse, eye safety must be your biggest concern.

The sun may damage a digital camera sensor so purchase a solar eclipse filter for your camera too if you plan to take professional pictures.

If you're using a telescope or binoculars to observe the partial eclipse, put a solar filter designed for your viewing equipment in front of the primary lens (or lenses).

As millions of people across the country prepare to watch the solar eclipse the afternoon of August 21, doctors and scientists are urging people to use caution to avoid eye damage and even total blindness.

"If we don't list a supplier, that doesn't mean their products are unsafe", said Rick Feinberg, the AAS' chief press officer and task force representative.

Totality in the United States begins at 10:16 a.m. PDT near Lincoln City, Oregon, ending in Charlestown, S.C., at 2:48 p.m. EDT.

"These could well turn out to be the best ever observations of high frequency phenomena in the corona", says Dan Seaton, co-investigator of the project and researcher at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, according to NASA. Position the mirror to reflect the sun's image onto a distant flat surface, preferably inside a darkened room.

To learn more, check out these popular websites:,,, and At that moment, the most incredible astronomical event that you will ever witness will appear over your head. Eclipses occur when the sun is close to either the ascending or descending node of the moon (the points at which the moon's orbit crosses the ecliptic, the circular path the sun follows). A solar eclipse is not that rare.