SYLACAUGA, Ala. – On Monday, Aug. 21, North America will be treated to a rare solar eclipse. In a path stretching from Oregon to South Carolina, the moon will completely block the sun.
A 92.3% partial eclipse will begin in Sylacauga at 12:02 p.m., reach the maximum at 1:33 p.m., and end a few seconds before 3:00 p.m. — a total of about three hours.
The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was June 8, 1918, and not since February 26, 1979, has a total eclipse been visible from any part of the mainland.
Of course, everyone will be tempted to look, but there is no absolutely safe way to do so. Because so much of the sun’s light will be blocked by the moon, looking would not cause turn-away pain as does looking at the sun on a normal day, making it easier to stare for a bit — yet even a few seconds can burn a blind spot in your eyes.
Even with the use of solar filter glasses, there are serious risks. If they don’t work, are defective, do not fit, or are not used correctly, there can be permanent and irreversible vision loss.
Be safe by watching the eclipse on television or by using a simple pinhole projector available for printing from NASA.
Lee Perryman for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.