The sun influences every process on Earth including one of the most important ones, the weather we experience on a day to day basis.
"With a total eclipse the darkest part of the Moon's shadow sweeps across the Earth's surface and if you happen to be in the path of that very small shadow, usually 100 to 200 kilometres' diameter, you will see the Moon completely block the Sun's disc", Dr Espenak explains.
The total solar eclipse will be visible only within a band across the contiguous United States; it will only be visible as a partial eclipse in other countries.
The full eclipse will cover a 70-mile-wide (112-kilometer) swath from OR to SC. A solar eclipse can last up to up to three hours. With just a few simple supplies, you can make a pinhole camera that lets you watch a solar eclipse safely and easily from anywhere. The main show, when the moon is directly in front of the sun, should happen about 1:30 p.m.
"Don't try to look directly at the sun with an unfiltered telescope, with binoculars".
Experts say that viewing the eclipse without protecting your eyes can be risky - and could even cause blindness.
Thunderstorms could pose another hurdle to eclipse viewing. Safe viewing equipment will be available.
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"It's very risky because people underestimate the amount of solar radiation that can focus on their retina", he said.
My friend Stephen Ramsden, who runs the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project (he travels all over the American southeast showing people the Sun through his incredible suite of telescopic equipment), has a page up on Facebook with descriptions and pictures of some glasses that aren't up to snuff.
"These are not safe", he said.
A common myth is that people can go blind from one glance at a solar eclipse, but Dr. Elita Hohner, a family specialist from Amita Health Medical Group in La Grange, said that this is unlikely.
"I tried to shoot the eclipse back here in the 70's when we had a partial eclipse here in Great Falls". If you are talking pictures, do not forget to look at the screen and not directly at the sun.
Bosetti said he has patients in Napa with severe vision damage from sun gazing during eclipses.
An order for 400 pair of safety glasses for viewing the August 21 solar eclipse was unilaterally canceled by the vendor, and Swem Library's Lisa Nickel leaped into action. "Don't take any chances, it's not worth a lifetime of damaged eyesight". At this point it will appear more dim, and the real view will be through eclipse glasses, with only a crescent sliver of the sun in view.
Double check to make sure those glasses are still effective.
Burlington, Ky. - The Boone County Public Library will be handing out 1,000 pairs of eclipse glasses beginning at 12:00 p.m. In general, people recover as much as they are going to within six months of the event, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This will be the hole you look through.