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4 Common Questions About Solar Eclipses

Most people understand the basic concept of eclipses. For example, if the moon gets between the earth and the sun (in just the right position) it can temporarily block out the sun. For viewing an eclipse, approved solar eclipse viewer are the safest choices. However, you might not know everything there is to know, and it’s nice to impress friends and family with some new-found knowledge. Here are four common questions people often ask and the answers.

1. What’s the Difference between a Total and Partial Eclipse?

When the moon passes between the earth and the sun it can block off all or only part of the sun’s light. It depends on the orbit of the moon and earth and their position at the time of the event. The closer the moon is to the earth, the more light it blocks. It also depends on what part of the planet you view the eclipse from.

2. Is Eye Protection Really Needed?

It’s important to use a good solar eclipse viewer when you look at the event. Some people get confused because it’s technically safe to view a total eclipse while it’s complete. However, this doesn’t last long, and even partial eclipses let ultraviolet light through, and it can damage the eyes.

3. When is the Next Total Solar Eclipse in North America?

The Great American Eclipse will happen on August 21st, 2017. It’s considered a rare event and well worth watching because it will cross the United States. This hasn’t happened for nearly 100 years (1918).

4. What’s the Best Eye Projection?

You can make your own eclipse viewers, but it’s easier to buy solar eclipse viewer products. These glasses are made especially for eclipses, and you can buy them for as little as one dollar in some places. If you have number 14 welder’s goggles, they will also work.

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