How to Safely Watch the Sun

Late Sunday afternoon, May 20, 2012, all the mid and western US will see an 80-90% eclipse of the sun!  The video below shows how to watch the eclipse safely. I am working to distribute safe eclipse watching glasses throughout Colorado and the country.  For the 2000 eclipse I got 600,000 distributed.  The glasses may be obtained from Fiske Planetarium in person; they come from Rainbow Symphony company.

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Here’s an image exposed every 15 minutes or so at a previous eclipse.

On the “central line” of the eclipse, which stretches from Reno, NV to Albuquerque, NM, the view at maximum eclipse will look like like a giant cosmic “bulls- eye.”  The rest of the US will see 80-90% of the sun covered.

If you click here a Google Maps page will tell you when the eclipse starts at a given location, when the eclipse is at maximum, how high the sun is (altitude), its direction (azimuth), and the maximum percentage covered.  The times are in UT – Universal Time or Greenwich, England time.  To convert to US time use this table. (Warning, Arizonans, your state does not use daylight savings time!).

The map below shows the areas that will see the full “bulls-eye” annular eclipse.  click once or twice  to enlarge.  (The strip shows where the maximum eclipse will be seen, but the rest will see 80-90% of the sun covered.)

If you want to safely look at a larger image of the sun, try what I describe here. Practice WELL in ADVANCE of eclipse day!

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Using binoculars to project the sun is much easier if they are supported on a tripod.  Camera stores can help you with this.  Here is a nice binocular to camera tripod holder. 

Keep your safe sun-watching glasses or binoculars because on June 5, 2012, the planet Venus will cross right in front of the sun, something that won’t happen again for 100 years! Click here for more details!

You can also make money while helping your neighbors view the eclipse or transit.  (click here)