A Solar Eclipse happens on August 21, 2017, and people are abuzz! While a solar eclipse is not an uncommon event, we won’t see another over Canada, the continental United States, and North America until 2024, so that’s a big deal.
TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE FACTS:
If you’ve never experienced a total eclipse, there are things you’ll see and feel that may be a bit unsettling. Understanding what’s happening and why will make viewing the solar eclipse all the more interesting. Anxious children might benefit from knowing what to expect in advance.
The sky may look like it has a hole in it.
When the eclipse reaches totality, meaning the moon is completely blocking the sun, it will create a big dark circle in the sky. The corona, the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere, won’t be blocked. The corona is a beautiful ring of light that helps to create the illusion of a hole in the sky.
The temperature will drop.
The moment the sun is completely blocked by the moon, the temperature will suddenly drop. It happens because of the loss of light from the sun. The American Astronomical Society predicts that most of us watching can expect a significant drop in temperature.
Traffic may be the worst you’ve seen.
Experts say that the eclipse is likely to cause the highest traffic day many cities in North America have ever experienced!
To avoid being caught in traffic, plan ahead.
If you’re traveling to see the eclipse from somewhere else, try and get there a day (or more) early. If you don’t already have hotel reservations or a camping spot, don’t expect to find one now.
Business as usual for you that day? Anticipate a slowdown to and from work. Definitely do everything you can to avoid being in the car when the eclipse happens. Drivers will be distracted watching the sky and may pull over, slow down, or stop altogether.
Insects and animals will behave differently.
Birds will suddenly go silent as the darkness indicates it’s time for them to settle down for the night. When the sun comes out of hiding they’ll think it’s morning and will happily sing and chirp the way they always do at dawn.
As the world around you darkens, crickets and frogs will be as noisy as they are everyday at sundown, and many kinds of spiders will deconstruct their webs. Owls and bats, who only make their appearances at night, may show themselves.
Wondering if your pets will react differently during the eclipse? It’s possible. Especially nervous pets should probably stay inside. In the event that they are going to be outdoors with you, it’s a good idea to leash them.
Safe viewing is important.
It is true you can harm your eyes staring too close. Solar eclipse glasses are for sale everywhere. They’re being sold online and in stores as protective eyewear and the packaging promises to keep your eyes safe. Sadly many of the glasses being advertised are junk. Companies are manufacturing and selling fake eclipse glasses with no regard to the severe and often irreversible eye damage that can be done. IGNORE many of THESE ADS.
Never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Follow NASA rules here about ways to view the total eclipse. There are simple, no or low cost ways, to make a safe viewing device for the eclipse. No need to spend a lot of money.
The solar eclipse can be educational:
Those are five of the most important things I think you should know about the solar eclipse. Will you watch? Are your kids excited? What are your viewing plans?