Twin Cities: Get Ready for the Total Solar Eclipse!

Image result for solar eclipse minnesota

It’s almost time for today’s total solar eclipse.

In the Twin Cities, we are expected to see an 83 percent eclipse beginning at 11:43 a.m., peaking at 1:06 p.m., and ending at about 2:30 p.m.

Protect your eyes during the solar eclipse!

Before looking at the sun, remember it is not safe to do so without the right protection. The only time it’s safe to view the eclipse with the naked eye is during the brief total phase of the solar eclipse (when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face). This only happens within the narrow path of totality.

“If you remember back in the day when you’d go out on a sunny day with a magnifying glass and you’d burn a hole in a leaf or a piece of paper, that’s exactly what can happen if you look at the sun during an eclipse,” said Dr. Linda Chous, UnitedHealthcare’s chief eye care officer. “It’s burning a hole in the retina, which is like the camera film inside the eye. If that occurs, that hole can’t be repaired and you can have a spot in the center of your vision for the rest of your life.”

Compliant solar eclipse glasses should have the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) code, “ISO 12312-2” printed on the glasses. The American Astronomical Society has received reports of fake glasses using the code, so you can find a full list of reputable solar viewer brands here.

Some people are turning to welding helmets, but according to NASA, the only ones that are safe for direct viewing of the sun are those of Shade 12 or higher.

If you don’t have proper protection, you can make a pinhole projector to safely view the eclipse.

Millions of people will want to capture the moment. NASA has a guide for capturing the solar eclipse on your smartphone. Apple told USA Today that its iPhone doesn’t need a filter when taking a quick photo of the eclipse but NASA still recommends using a pair of ISO-certified sun-viewing glasses to cover the camera lens.

Where should you go to view the solar eclipse?

Many solar eclipse viewing parties will happen across the state, including at Afton State ParkDodge Nature Center, Lebanon Hills Regional Park and Silverwood Park.

The Science Museum of Minnesota will be hosting eclipse-themed activities and a viewing party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dakota County’s Galaxie Library will be hosting Peter Mendygral, an astrophysicist at the University of Minnesota, who will be talking about solar eclipses.

The Hennepin County Library is also hold viewing parties at 11 of its libraries and STEM programming for kids and teens.

The St. Paul Public Library also has a list of events on its website.

Many of these events are also providing eclipse viewing glasses.

NASA will also be live streaming the total solar eclipse 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT.

Article courtesy of KARE11 Twin Cities. 

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