Things To Do in the Area April 2, 2024

Watching the Solar Eclipse 2024

No, it’s not the end of days or an apocalypse… it’s just a solar eclipse! So, put away your zombie fighting equipment and break out the dark goggles because this is a cosmic event worth watching on Apirl 8th, 2024. Make sure you are watching the brightness outside around 2:04 p.m. Happening every 40 years or so, you will have plenty of time to plan a party or collect your total solar eclipse watching gear.

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse is when the moon lines up perfectly with the sun and passes through the light coming off

the gas giant. This makes the sky dark like it’s evening when it’s really the middle of the day. With the proper glasses/goggles you can view the moon crossing paths with the sun! The next solar eclipse is scheduled to happen August 23rd in the year 2044.

Where are the best places to watch it?

When talking about who can see what during the solar eclipse, it is referred to as being in the path of totality. This is referring to what percent of the eclipse you will be able to see. Us in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia will be in the 90% totality range. We will be able to view 90% of the total coverage of the sun. Some spots in Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maine, etc will have 100% totality. They will not be able to see any part of the sun. Further away from the 100% range you travel around Florida (70% – 50%) and California (50%- – 30%) you will see more sun than moon.

Best practices when watching.

Just for this spectacular solar event, they do make special glasses! They look like the 3D glasses you would get in the movie theaters from years past: flimsy things they were incredibly square with a red and blue lens. Eclipse glasses are essentially the same thing, only they have dark lens on both sides and block out more of the light with the arms. You can pick them up at your local Wal-Mart store.  

Eclipse California

    There is a point during the passing of the moon where it will cover 100% of the sun. This is when it will be safe to view the event without glasses. Not everyone will be in this position to view without glasses. Folks not in the path of totality need to leave the glasses on for the entire time they are watching the sun and moon interact. This time frame can last for a few seconds to a few minutes depending on your angle.

If you do not have solar eclipse glasses, there are a couple other ways you can view the sun without hurting your eyes. The first is something called a pinhole projector. It’s made when you cross your fingers through each other and make a shadow on the ground. This is indirect solar viewing.

Another way to view the upcoming eclipse is with a welding mask. Those large things that go over your head and the front flips up and down are actually pretty useful for the bright light of the sun. The only precaution if you choose to use a welding mask is that it has to have a darkness level of 13-14. Most users found a 15 to be too dark while the more standard 12 allowed too much sun into the eyes.

What will happen if you stare without glasses?

When viewing an eclipse, you are essentially staring directly at the sun for much of the time. Even staring into the light for a couple seconds can lead to some major eye problems! The sun rays will burn the retina of your eye. This will cause distorted, blurry, dim, or just no vision. This is called eclipse blindness. The bulk of the time you may get a headache, and you will have watery eyes, but it will go away in time. More serious issues arise when your vision doesn’t return, or you start seeing blind spots in your field of vision. Blurry vision could be another sign of more serious damage to the retina.

If you enjoyed Watching the Solar Eclipse 2024 make sure to check out ERA Liberty’s other blog articles. We blog about all things real estate, local eats, and happenings in and around our community.

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