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Ask Your Science Teacher: 'Great American Eclipse' on its way Aug. 21

13 August 2017

Below are some of the most important things to know before the day of the 2017 eclipse, as well as cool information on solar eclipses in general, including when and where the next ones will occur. Wear your solar glasses during this phase if you are looking directly at it.

What is a solar eclipse?

An eclipse does not happen often. This year, for the first time since February 1979, states in the US will experience what is known as a total solar eclipse, or a "totality event".

NASA Solar Ambassador and Delano teacher Roberta Parnell talked to parents and kids about the importance of protecting their eyes during the natural event. The telescopes will be manned by trained volunteers and scientists and the data uploaded will greatly benefit researchers.

Yolo County it seems can't escape being in the shadow of the moon as the August 21 nationwide solar eclipse draws near.

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The Space Sciences Laboratory Multiverse team at UC Berkeley and Google's Making & Science team are partnering to create the Eclipse Megamovie 2017, a project to make an "expanded and continuous view of the total eclipse as it crosses the United States", according to their website. Meaning the sun is fully obscured by the moon.

As the moon starts to move between the sun and the Earth, a partial eclipse will begin.

The path of the August 21 eclipse runs from OR to SC with Hopkinsville, Kentucky being the point of greatest eclipse.

In other areas of partial eclipse, different parts of the sun will be visible. The total event will be completed by 2:24 p.m., lasting a total of two hours and 47 minutes.

Total solar eclipses will cross the continental USA twice more in the next 30 years, on April 8, 2024, and August 12, 2045. From the station's perspective, 44 percent of the sun will be blocked in a partial eclipse.

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If unable to make the trek to other neighboring states for the eclipse, NASA will be live streaming the event from locations across the country.

Books-A-Million and Toys R Us in Knoxville, along with Lowe's in Harriman say they may get more in next week. If you glance at the sun through your glasses, for example, and find it uncomfortably bright, out of focus and surrounded by a murky haze, they're no good. However, not all meet the required ISO 12312-2 worldwide safety standards; make sure yours do.

In an email sent to buyers of the unverified glasses, Amazon told customers "We recommend that you DO NOT use this product to view the sun or the eclipse".

This month's eclipse may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a rare astronomical event right in your backyard.

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