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Great Falls College-MSU will host a solar eclipse viewing event

13 Agosto 2017, 10:47 | Verda Sainz

CBS News Leonard Bates CBS News Leonard Bates

CBS News  Leonard Bates    CBS News Leonard Bates

On Aug. 21, Americans will be able to see the moon eclipse the sun - but must wear special-purpose "eclipse glasses" to view it safely.

A second visualization, shown below, goes in a little deeper, combining the cloud coverage data with the level of eclipse projected for each locale.

Do not view the eclipse directly with a naked eye: Since the eclipse will be such a widespread event, many will be tempted to watch, if only just for a few minutes. Packs of eclipse glasses are available at Walmart, eBay and Amazon for under $20. When you first look directly at the sun, what happens is it damages the center part.

If you plan to watch the solar eclipse, you have options.

"You might say well it's 99%".

You'll have to hit the road to see the full splendor of the upcoming solar eclipse, but there still will be quite the show if you stay put in Florida. A total solar eclipse's path of totality has touched the United States eight times since 1900, perhaps most notably in 1918.

To avoid damaging your eyes, make sure you use ISO 12312-2 certified solar viewers. So your regular sunglasses, or sunglasses that your mother got after her cataract surgery, are not going to protect the eyes. Homemade filters nearly certainly will not work. The period of total eclipse, for locations along its path, is less than three minutes long and will stagger across the continent over the course of about 90 minutes.

The approved glasses are being sold both online and in stores, although several local stores said this week they were out of the glasses but may be getting more before August 21. NASA also released a list of suggested manufacturers and retailers.

Science Central's gift shop is selling solar eclipse viewing cards for $1.99 each to the public and for $1 each for Science Central members. The problem is, it's late in the game now, and so, most of those are already sold, and the availability of those glasses is going to be limited at this time. "We'll have a speaker from NASA that will be here presenting information relevant to this particular event", said Dean of Students Frank Stevenson.

I know I don't reach out to you unless I want something (we both know I was a bit needy during that weeklong rain spell this past Spring, and sure, I'm all-out awful during pretty much every Chicago Winter), but hear me out on this one. Instead, buy new ones. But only welders glass of at least Shade 12 is safe to use. Because there are no pain receptors in the retina, damage can occur without any sensation of pain.



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