Published: Fri, August 18, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

What causes a total solar eclipse?

What causes a total solar eclipse?

Maximum coverage will be at 1:09 p.m.

According to NASA the last total solar eclipse to pass over the United States coast to coast was 1918.

The Adler Planetarium will celebrate all things solar at Chicago's biggest eclipse block party of all. Counterfeit and unverified eclipse-viewing glasses flooded the market.

You must use eclipse glasses or solar viewers with ISO 12312-2 certification to look directly at the eclipse.

The moon's shadow will travel from the West Coast to the East Coast of the United States with only a narrow zone, called the path of totality, experiencing a total solar eclipse.

If skies are overcast, though, the library says they "will reserve its supply of glasses for the next solar eclipse in 2024".

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Here in the Roanoke Valley, we're lucky enough to get 90-94% totality of that eclipse. Eclipse glasses contain filters of a thin layer of chromium or silver on their surfaces that block out most of the ultraviolet and infrared light. This means that part of the cities will experience a total solar eclipse, while other portions will not.

Particularly outside the path of totality, viewers must keep their eye protection in place at all times because the sun will at no point be fully obscured. The farther you are from this path, the less noticeable the eclipse will be.

NASA has some great information on viewing the eclipse online here.

Of course, if you are on the path of totality, you will lose almost 100 percent of your normal daylight illumination when totality happens. But if you are shooting the sun for more than a few seconds, NASA suggests placing a darkening filter or eclipse glasses over your phone's camera to prevent any possible sun "burn in", that could leave a white dot on future photos.

"My husband will be off that day and so we will be watching it together, but we're excited, I mean it's something that hasn't happened in over a century so it will be pretty awesome", said Surginer.

District Communications Director Leslee Wright says the glasses are NASA approved for looking at the sun when the time comes.

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