I think by now most American’s are aware that there is a full solar eclipse coming on August 21. I have friends traveling to different parts of the country (Wyoming, South Carolina) just so they can see the complete eclipse instead of just a partial. It’s big deal. There has been a lot of talk about how to view the eclipse safely – yes people, you can damage your eyes and/or go blind if you look at the eclipse without some type of protective eye wear unless it is in complete totality (i.e. the sun is completely covered by the moon). If there is even a sliver of sun showing, eye damage is possible, so why risk it? Apparently there is a shortage of eclipse glasses – and regular sun glasses don’t cut it. Later in this post I will provide a way to make a device to see the eclipse without looking directly at it for those of you who did not jump on the eclipse glass ordering craze!
This is a rare occurrence and there are many sites and resources out there to help collect data, track the eclipse, watch it live streamed. I’ve compiled a list of sites and resources that provide lots of options that you can use personally or use with students. Lot of math and science questions and connections that can be made!
- Space.Com – lots of links here to where to see the eclipse, how to track it, how to livestream, safety, etc.
- State-by-State Map – also Space.Com but the slide show focuses on time and where to see the eclipse by state
- NASA.gov Also shows where, when and how, with some great visuals and suggestions for safety
- Eclipse2017.org A great resource – click on the different links to prepare, find maps, discussions on what an eclipse is, etc.
- Science Space Institute – they have an app that will allow you to explore real-time images of the solar eclipse
- Astronomy Magazine – 25 facts about the solar eclipse – (good resource to use with students!)
- TimeandDate.com – very cool map that if you click on it (path of eclipse) it will show date, time, location
- USA Today – lots of resources here, with an important one – the FAKE eclipse glasses that have gone on the market – beware!
- The Washington Post – some fun facts about the sun, moon, eclipse – great for students
- Sky & Telescope – lots of links to where, when, education resources all connected to the eclipse
- Eclipsophile – interesting facts about each state in the path of totality – great math/science stuff here!
As you can see, there is a plethora of information on the solar eclipse out there to explore, much of which for you teachers out there, can become some really interesting math and science exploration and discussion.
Let’s end with some links to making your own SAFE eclipse viewer, because again, you do NOT want to look directly at the eclipse, especially partial, with the naked eye. Indirect viewing (or watch it livestream via some of the links above). Here are a few different links that show different ways to create your own eclipse viewers, and I have included a video at the end as well.
- NASA – using things from around your house (well, only if you have binoculars)
- National Geographic – uses stiff pieces of white cardboard. This is designed for use with students.
- TimeandDate.com – pinhole box (so need a box, duct tape, scissors, white paper…)
- Wikihow.com – this involves carboard and a camera (those of you wanting to take pictures)
- USA Today – this involves a cereal box, aluminum foil, scissors, white paper – simplified pinhole box
- Exploratorium – this has several methods, and even has the same scientist from the NASA as one option
- Youtube – lots of videos on youtube on how to make an eclipse viewer. I liked this one because it was simple and efficient.
Below is a video on making your own eclipse viewer. I chose this one because it was simple and uses items easily found around the house: