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Earth Day: Solar Eclipse

DATE ; general info.

The Solar Eclipse will be on Monday, August 21, 2017, and will pass over about a dozen states in the U.S. 

Totality (100%), for 30 seconds to a little more than 2 mins., depending on location) wil be in the northeast corner of Georgia, as well as  Clemson, SC, Columbia, SC, and Charleston, SC -- about a 70-mile wide path.  see Eclipse Maps for details of where it will be 100%. 

Eclipse - "IF YOU STAY IN ATLANTA, the eclipse will never be total for you! You will need to use your eclipse glasses for the entire partial eclipse! "

GT's event will be at Kessler Campanile, 1:00-4:00pm. Details and more, see College of Sciences eclipse site.

Safety - solar eclipse glasses ; homemade viewers

Please do NOT look directly at the sun's rays. Use special solar eclipse glasses that meet the ISO12312-2 standard or make a pinhole box/projector.

Per NASA - "When watching a partial eclipse you must wear eclipse glasses at all times if you want to face the sun, or use an alternate indirect method. This also applies during a total eclipse up until the time when the sun is completely and totally blocked."  "The only time it’s safe to look at the Sun without eye protection is if you’re in the 70-mile-wide path of totality and only during the minutes of totality."

GT's College of Sciences site includes this info. re wearing solar eclipse glasses:

  • Do not use with binoculars, telescopes, or cameras

There are only a few manufacturers of solar eclipse glasses that meet the ISO international standard -- 4 are listed on Eclipse 101, NASA's safety site.

"To date four manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

For bulk orders (10 or more), contact:

Rainbow Symphony  [what is sold at the Adler Planetarium is from this co.]

American Paper Optics   [what was distributed by NASA at a conference is from this co.]

Eye Safety During Solar Eclipses -- summary, adapted from NASA RP 1383.

Per Dept. of Interior - " It is never safe to look at the sun during the eclipse. Except during the very short period of totality do not look directly at the sun without approved solar-viewing devices."

Per the American Astronomical Society (from interview) --  ..."Solar filters that meet this standard are about 100,000 times darker than ordinary sunglasses, and sunglasses don't block infrared radiation."

Also from AAS - How to View a Solar Eclipse Safely - Looking directly at the Sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the Moon entirely blocks the Sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality.

Can You Really Go Blind Staring at an Eclipse? Tips for Safe Viewing -- from

How to Safely Watch the Great American Eclipse of 2017 --  from the  American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)

Per NASA -   How to View the 2017  Solar Eclipse Safely -        

        "Eye Safety During a Total Solar Eclipse " - -  notes what you can safely see during totality only, IF you are in the path of a 100% total eclipse.

Remember: in GA, unless you are in the far northeast corner of GA; or, in SC, near Clemson, Anderson, Columbia, or Charleston -- you are NOT in the path of totality - 97% or 99% is not 100% -  so, you will need to wear special solar eclipse glasses that meet the ISO standard or using an indirect method noted below.


NASA -- Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the Sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars , or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer.

More from NASA - "Most of the ‘beauty shots’ you will see related to this eclipse will be taken with professional digital cameras on tripods." For those in the path of totality, NASA has tips on Smartphone Photography of the Eclipse.  "Using optical filters to photograph the eclipse when you are not on the path of totality is inherently risky because you are looking at the blindingly bright solar surface. NASA makes no recommendations about how to safely photograph the partial eclipse phases because of the huge number of optical filter and camera models that may potentially be used and often with unsafe outcomes."  

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse -- note: this is with a DSLR camera - plus - a special solar filter.  DSLR is a Digital Single Lens Reflex. Tips from "Mr. Eclipse", Fred Espenak


Detailed Info.

Where to View it - 100% total - plus weather

Note: at least two SE 100% locations are SOLD OUT - Greenville, SC - Roper Mountain Science Center; Newfound Gap - in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - US 441, on Tenn./NC border.

Why is 100% so much better than 99% ?   Per Mr. Eclipse, Fred Espenak (retired NASA astrophysicist) - "...the difference between a 99% partial eclipse and a total eclipse is the difference between getting 5 out of 6 numbers in the jackpot right. [It's] not the same..."    ..."A total eclipse is just one of the most remarkable astronomical events you can see with the naked eye"  [Q&A from:  ]  - note: "naked eye" is during the brief time of "totality", in the narrow path where it is truly total - 100%.


ATLANTA area -- will be about 97%

  Georgia Tech will have an event  from 1-4 at the Kessler Campanile - solar eclipse glasses will be distributed, but "supply limited".  See the College of Sciences eclipse website

Also in Atlanta - the Atlanta Audubon Society will hold a Solar Astronomy Workshop - at Historic Fourth Ward Park (North Ave. entrance, near Dallas St. NE) -- note: "weather permitting" and - free solar eclipse glasses (while supplies last).

Fernbank Science Center - part of NASA Museum Alliance. Will show it on NASA-TV; also, solar telescopes outside (weather permitting).

Many public libraries in the metro Atlanta area will have informal events (some in meeting rooms; some in parking lots).  Some will distribute free solar eclipse glasses. Check the events calendar on your local public library's home page.

Posters, brochures, bookmarks, stamps

Educational Events

Other Solar Eclipses

 Map of Library Location GT Library :: 266 4th Street NW :: Atlanta, GA 30332-0900 :: phone: (404) 894-4500 or 1-888-225-7804