The Great American Solar Eclipse 8.21.2017
On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will experience a solar eclipse. Anyone within the path of totality--where the moon completely blocks the sun--will experience a total solar eclipse. The path of totality will be approximately 70 miles wide and pass through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
North Texas will experience a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk. From our area, about 80% of the sun will be eclipsed by the moon.
NOTE: The Lewisville Library does not have eclipse viewing glasses to provide the public.
Image Credit: www.greatamericaneclipse.com
What is a solar eclipse?
An eclipse takes place when one heavenly body such as a moon or planet moves into the shadow of another heavenly body. There are two types of eclipses on Earth: an eclipse of the moon and an eclipse of the sun (Source: NASA)
A solar eclipse, or eclipse of the sun, occurs when the moon moves between the sun and Earth. When this happens, the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth, causing a solar eclipse. During a solar eclipse, the moon casts a shadow onto Earth (Source: NASA).
While a solar eclipse happens about every 18 months, they are not always visible from the same places on Earth. The ability to view a total solar eclipse is even more rare. The eclipse on August 21, 2017 will be the first total solar eclipse visible for a large portion of United States since 1979. Even then, the total solar eclipse in February 1979 only touched Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota. Unfortunately, it was cold and rainy that day, so many people were unable to see the eclipse due to rain and cloud cover (Source: www.eclipse2017.org). For fun, watch this clip of the CBS Evening News report on the 1979 total solar eclipse.
What time will the eclipse occur?
In the Lewisville area, the eclipse will begin at around 11:39 a.m. CDT on Monday, August 21, as the moon continues it's orbit and begins to partially block the sun. We will experience the maximum view at 1:09 p.m CDT. The moon will move out of the path of the sun, ending the eclipse, at 2:38 p.m CDT. (Source: NASA Total Solar Eclipse Interactive Map)
What will I need to view the eclipse?
Looking directly at the sun is unsafe and harmful to your eyes. Never look at a partial solar eclipse without the proper eye protection. Looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage.
The only safe way to look directly at the partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses are not safe for looking at the sun (Source: NASA).
While some public libraries are giving away viewing glasses, the Lewisville Library does not have viewing glasses to provide the public.
When purchasing eclipse glasses or viewing filters, it is important to make sure the product is from a supplier of ISO-compliant products and that the glasses/viewers are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products. Visit the NASA Total Eclipse 2017 website for details and a list of authorized suppliers.
You can also use pinhole viewers to project the eclipse onto a surface and avoid looking directly at the sun. Below are some versions of the pinhole viewer that you can make with common household items.
Pinhole solar eclipse viewers:
Where can I get more information on the solar eclipse?
When is the next solar eclipse?
Get ready! The next total solar eclipse over North America is a short seven years away. On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will be visible across Texas, including the DFW area.