Everything You Need To Know About Today's Solar Eclipse

Today is the day! Are you ready for the first  total solar eclipse in about 100 years? According to NASA, It will be visible from coast to coast, NASA reports. 

You have experienced eclipses often. So why is today's special? Good question.  The reason is it's total and will be completely visible across the continental U.S. On average, the eclipse  will be visible for two minutes and 30 seconds.

Overall, it' will take about 90 minutes for the moon's shadow to fully cross the sun's. The eclipse will start at 1:15 p.m. here on the East Coast till approx. 2:45 p.m.  The peak time in the Hudson Valley will be 2:44 p.m.

In the Hudson Valley will happen this afternoon for a few mins during 2 p.m. hour. 

There will be many viewing parties locally including:

Dutchess / Northern Orange – Vanderbilt Mansion – 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.

If you can watch the eclipse on the lawn. Special viewing glasses can be purchased for for only $1 available in the gift shop. 

SUNY New Paltz – 1p.m.- 4 p.m.

A public viewing on the campus’ Excelsior Concourse. Telescopes with solar filters will be set up, and eclipse glasses will be made available as well.

Plus Linden Avenue Middle School, Market Avenue in Red Hook and Starr Library, West Market Street in Rhinebeck. 

Here's some last-minute random info on the Total Solar Eclipse

 It's been 38 years since the last total solar eclipse but, fortunately, if you miss it today, you won't have to wait another four decades that long again.  The next time that America will be able to see a total solar eclipse will be in seven years, on April 8th, 2024.

 Did you know that one day far in the future, there won't be any total solar eclipses, because the moon is drifting further and further from Earth. between 500 million and one billion more years. 

In the eastern parts of the country that are directly in the eclipse's path, the amount of light they get will be similar to the amount of sunlight Neptune gets every day.  In the west, it'll be like the amounts of sunlight Saturn gets every day.

Animals may begin to react in different ways. For example, nocturnal animals like owls could wake up and start looking for food ;  elephants will freak out and make a bunch of noise; armadillos could JUMP three to four feet in the air, which is something they do when they're scared according to zoo experts, 

If you can not view outside wearing your special glasses, NASA will be doing a massive livestream during the entire eclipse from 12:00  P.M. to 4:00 P.M. Eastern so you can experience it, at nasa.gov.

So What is a Total Solar Eclipse?

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon completely covers the sun making only its corona (the spiky bits you draw off it) visible. This will make everything dark. 

This map from the American Astronomical Society shows exactly when the eclipse is hitting your state and how long it'll be visible for you. 

Enter Your Zip Code 

Another interactive eclipse map -- this time from the Courier-Journal -- is even easier to use. Just enter your zip code on the map page and it'll give you the times  when you can watch the eclipse as well as the percentage of the sun that will appeared covered by the moon from your location.

There's also an eclipse view simulator that illustrates what you can expect.  Put in your zip code, then hit the play button.

Maps and Charts

Check out greatamericaneclipse.com to follow the path of the eclipse, while a chart from NASA details the eclipse viewing times at cities in several time zones across the country.

Will You Be Able To See It?

Yes, anyone within 70 miles of the eclipse's "path of totality" will be able to see the entire eclipse according to NASA. That path of totality is from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. Most everyone else will be able to see at least a partial eclipse. Again, you can see what kind of eclipse view you're in for here.

Am I allowed to look at it?

Yes! And no. President of the American Optometric Association Dr. Christopher Quinn told CNN "When you look directly at the sun, the intensity of the light and the focus of the light is so great on the retina that it can cook it," and that "If the exposure is great enough, that can and will lead to permanent reduction in vision and even blindness."

Using special solar eclipse glasses are necessary if you're planning to look up at what's going on (as you should! This is historical!). If you're still solar-eclipse-glasses-less, you can try and get a pair from lots of places — find a comprehensive list of vendors from the Washington Post here.

Can you View The Eclipse With The Naked-Eye For a Second?

Yes. It's very bad to go eyeballs out for an eclipse like this. If you want to read more about the gruesome permanent damage it causes, you can read the scary findings of a bunch of brilliant ophthalmologists here.

Can the weather affect my view of the eclipse?

It can! But it likely won't. Here's a comprehensive breakdown of the weather predictions that day, but keep checking your local forecast as eclipse-time gets closer.

Can I Take Pics?

AppleInsider suggests (1) NOT taking your eclipse glasses off to take pics and (2) not zooming with your iPhone lens either. Better to take a higher-quality, farther-out photo and crop later than to compromise the quality of the pic before you even start futzing with it. A tripod may help with steadier picture-taking too.

If you don't have special solar eclipse glasses, you can make your own. Check out the video below plus some mood music and Eclipse Party Radio on your free iHeartRadio app. 

Source: Cosmopolitan.com

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