You may be wondering…. Why is this total solar eclipse such a big deal in Nebraska? The answer… A total solar eclipse is actually very rare. According to NASA, the last total solar eclipse (visible within the United States) was February 26, 1979, and the last total eclipse that spanned across the entire United States was nearly 100 years ago.
Lucky for us, Nebraska is in its direct path on August 21, 2017 beginning at approximately 11:30am with the total eclipse occurring at approximately 1pm. Anyone in its path will witness day turn to night for about 2 minutes and 40 seconds. At this time, bright stars and planets will become visible as well. Pretty cool, huh!
Looking directly into the sun can be very damaging to your eyes and could impact your vision. Here are some safety tips from NASA you’ll want to follow:
- Do not look directly at the sun without special-purpose solar filters, also known as eclipse glasses. Only remove the glasses during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse.
- Homemade filters and sunglasses do not provide enough filter protection for looking directly at the sun. So, please do not use them!
- Camera filters, telescopes, binoculars, or other optical devices will not protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays. Do not use these devices even with eclipse glasses.
- If you are within the path of totality, remove your eclipse glasses ONLY when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets dark. This time period is only a few minutes depending on where you are located.
- Look away from the sun prior to removing your eclipse glasses.
- Be cautious ordering eclipse glasses online. NASA recommends looking for the following stamp ISO 12312-2. Here are a few providers that NASA recommends: American Paper Optics, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.
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Source: NASA, https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety, (July 21, 2017)