I have been reading a lot lately about solar eclipses, and especially how to view the eclipse in the safest way. I want to enjoy it personally. But, most of all, I want people to use this as a great learning opportunity. Since the eclipse will only last for a limited time (and if it's a cloudy day, then this time may be cut short even more!), it would be advisable to plan ahead of time. I've placed my orders for solar eclipse glasses, solar telescope and lenses to make a solar projector! I did my research and therefore I was able to make all the above purchases for less than $ 60.00. Not bad! Below, I will share all the cool sites I came across, so that you can be prepared too.
Safety First: Directly looking at the sun (even the partially eclipsed sun) can cause serious damage to the eyes. Keep this in mind. It will be too tempting to look up at the sun, but make sure to wear certified solar viewers or alternatively, watch the a projected image of the sun on a screen.
Learn the basics of solar eclipse and why nature has helped only the Earth to be able to witness total solar eclipse. Mother nature is truly amazing!!
Use this 3D web app to find out how the sun will appear in your location on August 21, 2017. This is a great app to kind of know what to expect on that day.
We all know that we aren't supposed to look at the sun directly. That's because the sun's rays can burn the retina of the eyeballs!! If you don't believe this, check out this demonstration video!
Eclipse Glasses are everywhere these day. But, do you know what is the right one to purchase? The certified solar viewers must meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard. This information should be printed on the side flap of your glasses. Check out the list of reputable eclipse glass vendors posted at the American Astronomical Society. I purchased my eclipse glasses and solar telescope (especially made to look at the sun) from Explore Scientific USA.
DIY Projects for the Makers
If you love DIY projects, I've found some fantastic ideas to make various indirect solar projectors. Following are some ideas, from most simple to more complicated methods.
Pinhole camera projection
Binoculars and Telescope Projection Video
Binoculars and Telescope Projection Instrucions
Using a dollar store eye glass lens. Very inexpensive, but cool project!
Following solar viewer will project an image of the sun that can be as big as 3 inches!
Two- Lens Solar viewer for $20 - Video
Two- Lens Solar viewer for $20 - Instructions with Lens specifications
I purchased the lenses required for this project from Surplusshed.com. Their customer service is great and the lens came within a few days!
Finally, if the weather is not on your side on August 21, not to worry. You can watch a live coverage.
Nasa Eclipse 2017 Live
Exploratorium Live Coverage