Impact of a solar eclipse especially total solar eclipse can be dangerous to many people!
The 2020’s only total solar eclipse is set to happen on December 14 (this Monday) and here’s what you need to know about it:
The sky watchers can observe the last total solar eclipse of December 2020 across South Pacific, Argentina, Chile and the southern Atlantic Ocean; however, a broader region in the Antarctica and southern South can observe a partial solar eclipse.
Solar eclipses happen when the moon’s disc passes in front of the sun’s disc, blocking the sun view from Earth for a short while. When they entirely line up over each other, the moon hides the whole sun that leads to a total eclipse. Though, most of the times it only covers the partial parts of the sun- the phenomenon is called a partial or lunar eclipse.
A total solar eclipse is a rare phenomenon that doesn’t happen each month because the moon’s orbit is slightly tilted in relation to the sun and barely aligns together.
When will the solar eclipse occur?
The partial solar eclipse will start at 1333 GMT or 8:33 a.m. EST and will be visible thousands of miles away from the southeastern coast of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. And after an hour at 1432 GMT or 9:32 a.m. EST the total phase of the eclipse will be observed in this region.
The time of the longest eclipse, where the eclipse will happen for a longer time or the maximum time, the moon covers the sun, will begin after two hours at 1613 GMT or 11:13 a.m. EST. The moment of the longest eclipse will happen 29 kilometers village’s northwest Sierra Colorado in Argentina.
Observers can witness the total eclipse till 12:54 p.m. EST while some part of the eclipse will be visible till 1853 GMT or 1:53 p.m. EST for viewing.
Sorry to disappoint you just like we made you cry by discussing the most heart touching moments of 2020 but there are a few places where you can really catch a glimpse of the total solar eclipse. Yet, at some locations, observers will be able to look up and enjoy the eclipse with safety glasses.
Check out the closest pictures of Sun released by NASA and ESA.
For example, spectators in Villarrica, Chile will be informed to witness the total solar eclipse for about 2 minutes and 9 seconds of totality. The total eclipse will kick off at 1:02 p.m. local time and end at 1:04 p.m. local time.
The last place to be able to witness the eclipse will be Salina del Eje in Argentina.
Following this (December 14) solar eclipse, the next time we’re going to observe a total solar eclipse will be on next December 4, 2021, which is expected to occur over South America.
How can it affect you?
Before you read that check out the mysteries of Sun's Corna!
There are many sky watchers who’re excited to witness the rare celestial event, but looking straight at the sun (just like your president), during the duration of even an annular eclipse, can result in other kinds of permanent eye damages including blindness!
WARNING: Exposing your eyes to the sun when it’s eclipsed by the moon can cause “eclipse blindness” or retinal burn, also called solar retinopathy. This can also lead to damage or even destruction of calls in the retina that is responsible for transmitting what you see to the brain.
So, it is advised to use special protective glasses or eyewear to observe the eclipse.
Your basic glasses, even those come with UV protection, will not be enough to protect your eyes during the eclipse. And if you’re planning to capture the celestial event with any camera, you can use special solar filters that ensure the remaining ring of light doesn’t affect your vision. A pinhole camera comes in handy for observing total eclipse without exposing your eyes to the harmful UV rays.
Viewers can also use welder’s glass to view an eclipse. Number 14 welder’s glass offers effective protection and is easily available at a local welder’s supply store. This protective glass can reduce the dangerous rays that are emitting from the eclipse. Avoid using if your welder’s glass has scratches or any damages.
Mylar filters is another way to observe an eclipse safely. You can make a viewing box out of the aluminized mylar plastic sheets that are available at any general store. Avoid using if it contains scratches or any sort of damages.
How NOT to watch a solar eclipse?
Considering the alarming vision damages because of the dangerous UV rays during an eclipse, you should be extra careful about how you observe a solar eclipse. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to risk your eyesight for the sake of curiosity! Here’s what NOT recommended to watch an eclipse in the following ways:
Smartphone: Observing an eclipse with your smartphone camera can be risky and may accidentally expose your eyes to the sun directly when lining the sun with the camera. Also, it could also harm your phone’s camera. So, don’t get into that trouble unless you’re wearing special eyewear.
Camera viewfinder: It’s not a good idea of viewing an eclipse using the camera’s optical viewfinder. The idea may damage your vision exactly in a similar manner as looking directly at the sun.
Filters: No filters are safe to use with any viewing equipment such as binoculars, telescope or camera unless it’s exclusively designed for viewing a solar eclipse! Unsafe filters include all color film, a monochrome film that has no silver, photographic negatives (x-rays and snapshots), sunglasses (even with UV protection), smoked glasses, and photographic neutral density filters. All these filters can maximize the risk of permanent eyesight damage.
So, before you enter 2021, here's what you need to be prepared for!
If you have captured a wonderful picture of solar eclipse and wish to share with us, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. For the sake of your physical and emotional wellbeing we strongly recommend you to follow all the precautionary measures while you witness the final solar eclipse of 2020.