Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse Day-2017

Path of Totality in WSJ
       August 21, 2017.  Where were you?  Did you witness "totality"?  Did you buy the proper glasses?  Do you know what's happening today across a wide swath of the USA?  Do you care, even if you know?   These are a few of the many questions being asked around the Lake Tahoe area today, yesterday, and probably tomorrow.   I would not call it mania; the publicity surrounding the eclipse is widespread across the various media.
     The path of totality is a narrow band across the landscape, stretching from the West Coast to the southern Atlantic Coast.   Over 3 hours this morning on the West Coast-the Lake Tahoe Region included, citizens will be able to view the celestial event from the comfort of their home(s), businesses, and local viewing sites.   NASA, the space exploration branch of the government will be an active participant in all things Eclipse.  Various aircraft will be airborne at the appropriate hour to monitor and record all aspects of the event from start to finish.
      A major effort will be one of video recording of the actual totality of shutting down of sunlight that reaches the band of the landscape.  In an effort to study the sun from a unique position inside the "umbra" or totality area, cameras will be focused on the edge of visible light that will surround the moon as it passes between the sun and the earth.   Scientists will revel in this golden opportunity to answer many questions regarding solar activity.  The last comparable event occurred 99 years ago.  Just last Sunday, the NY Times included a special section devoted to the eclipse.  It spelled out in detail many of the facts that pertain to this type of phenomena.
     Of course, many 'enterprising ' business types have taken advantage of the situation.  Some have rented their well located abodes via Air BnB home rental spaces.   If your place is within the 'umbra zone, you have some potential, depending on the exact location.  Others have made hay by selling viewing glasses via ebay/Amazon/ and other retail sites.  Among the sellers were more than a few 'fake' glasses that did not qualify as real protection lenses.  Typical for such an event.
     A word of advice: don't be casual with your eyesight.  Real damage can be done in a short period of time due to the intensity of solar radiation from unprotected viewing.  Protect your healthy eyes with correct lens types.   A decent pair of welding lenses will work just fine and these lenses can often be adjusted to a peculiar situation/location.   Older, blue lenses, are not recommended as they often were designed for a particular type of process that does not compare to an eclipse-type of event.
    Be safe; enjoy the occasion. wherever the day may find you.

No comments:

Post a Comment