In a few weeks, a solar eclipse will cut across the entire United States. If you want an unobstructed view of the night sky we’re here to tell you when, where, and how to make the most of this once in a lifetime event.
Monday, August 21, will see a solar eclipse travel across the sky of the US. Where as some parts of the country will see the sun completely blocked out, we in NYC will only see the moon obscure 71.4% of the sun. Check out the handy graphic below from the good people at vox.com:
Wherever you are in the US you will be able to see see the eclipse, even if it’s only a partial one. The area where the sun is completely blocked out by the moon is just 70 miles wide as you can see in the graphic above.
If you DO plan on checking out the total eclipse, you’ll need to travel 576 miles South West… take lunch and plenty of water. Assuming you’re not planning to make a trip within the path of the eclipse (cutting a path from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina), let’s talk about the “whens”, “wheres” and “hows” right here in NYC. Even though the whole sun won’t be blocked out it will still be quite a spectacle.
NASA released a guide to Eclipse safety. We’ll give you an idea here, but you can see the full guide HERE.
Firstly, to view the eclipse you’re going to need eye protection, either an indirect viewing method or eclipse glasses. If you are choosing the latter here’s what the nasa guide says about eclipse eyewear:
- Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
- Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
- Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
- Not use homemade filters or be substituted for with ordinary sunglasses — not even very dark ones — because they are not safe for looking directly at the Sun
The manufacturers NASA recommends are American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only), Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.
We won’t experience a “totality” (a complete solar eclipse) here in New York, so looking directly at the eclipse is extremely dangerous. Use your filter of choice, glance at the sun, turn away and remove the filter. NEVER remove your filter while looking at the sun.
Don’t look at the partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or another optical device. The concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eyes, causing serious injury.
An alternative method for safely viewing the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection.
The phenomenon will be in a north easterly direction, whereas it will be visible from most of the city, especially from parks and rooftops, the most unobstructed views will be from the Rockaways. Maybe Monday, August 21, will be the perfect time for you to hit the beach.
Stay safe out there secret NYCers. An eclipse is one of natures most awe inspiring sights, we hope you make some memories that will last a lifetime.
Featured image source [Wikimedia Commons]