Approximately 1 million people are making plans and traveling to see the solar eclipse on Monday. This will be the first total solar eclipse visible in all 50 states in nearly 100 years. The next solar eclipse, predicted to happen in 2024, will only be visible in 12 states.
I have compiled a short list of 5 things you should be prepared for and know for this once-in-a-lifetime event!
1) PROPER EYEWEAR
Trying to view the solar eclipse without proper eyewear can lead to permanent eye damage and in extreme cases, blindness.
Can I view the solar eclipse with regular sunglasses? –Absolutely not. “Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight,” reports NASA. The only time it will be safe to view the eclipse without proper eyewear is during complete totality.
The American Astronomical Society has identified five manufactures that produce the safest protective glasses for viewing the eclipse. Click here to view the list!
2) WHERE TO VIEW
The solar eclipse cuts right through several major states and cities. Some of the best places for viewing the eclipse in totality includes: Madras, Oregon; Snake River Valley, Idaho; Sandhills of Western Nebraska; Casper, Wyoming; St. Joseph, Missouri; Carbondale, Illinois; Nashville, Tennessee; Columbus, South Carolina; Hopkinsville Kentucky; and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
On the far East Coast totality will be around 2:43pm, and on the West Coast at 10:19am. Click here to see when and where you will be able to view the eclipse from your location!
3) TRAVEL & TRAFFIC
If you are located in a part of the country that is expected to get a total view, or even partial view of the eclipse be prepared for stopped traffic. If your plans are flexible, leave a day or two early and return a day or two later to avoid all traffic.
On the roads, make sure to leave with a full tank of gas, extra food, and plenty of water. If you’re flying anywhere on Monday be prepared for delays and arrive with plenty of time to spare.
4) PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES & FIRE SAFETY
A lot of people plan on camping to view the eclipse. This time of year is particularly dry and hot, perfect for forest fires. To avoid forest fires only burn fires in permitted locations and in an enclosed fire ring away from any dry plants or trees. Never abandon a burning fire and always put out fires before going to bed. Carry extra water with you for putting out fires!
5) TAKING THE BEST PICTURES
NEVER look directly at the sun through an unfiltered camera lens, you will seriously damage your eyes! If you intend to take photos of the eclipse you will need special filters.
Here are some pointers:
- Do not use flash of any kind!
- You will need a camera with a long lens, simple point and shoot cameras won’t do it justice
- Use a tripod and film the show in full totality!
For more photo taking tips click here!
Don’t have all the equipment you need to take the pictures you want? Leave it to the pros and take mental pictures while you enjoy the show!