In exactly three weeks, a rare eclipse will happen occur over the United States. This eclipse can be seen in totality in a diagonal line across the country, but can also be partially seen from most areas in the U.S. as well. When I was in St. Louis last month, there was a lot of excited talk about this eclipse, as the city was directly in the path of totality. This path stretches from Oregon across the U.S. to the East Coast, in South Carolina.
Unfortunately, I’ll be at work in Chicago at 11:54am on Monday, August 21, but, barring any cloudy weather, I fully intend on watching it from the Riverwalk on my lunch break. I’ve even sent out a calendar invite for my coworkers to come join me, as I can’t imagine why anyone would want to miss this piece of history. This one will be the closest to a total solar eclipse Chicago has seen in over ninety years. But, wherever you are in the United States, you’ll be able to see a partial eclipse, which is what makes this event so exciting. If you aren’t able to get to a destination in the path of the total eclipse, you’ll still be able to see something really amazing. So, what should you do to get ready? I’m glad you asked:
- Make sure you’re properly equipped. You will need special viewing glasses, this is non-negotiable. You won’t be safe in regular sunglasses or anything homemade. Luckily for you (and me!), Warby Parker is handing out free viewing glasses is handing out free viewing glasses at any of their stores starting tomorrow. You can find a store nearest you here. This is serious though, you don’t want to do any damage to your eyes by not having the correct viewing glasses.
- Be in your chosen viewing point early to ensure you won’t miss a thing. This is crucial, because the eclipse won’t last very long (probably about two minutes, depending where you are in the U.S.)
- Make an event out of it if you can, but get outside either way to see it. This will be an amazing sight! Like I said, I’m making sure to get out on my lunch break to enjoy this beauty, but even if you can’t take an hour to sit outside to see it, try to get outside to take a peak (with your eclipse glasses of course).
- If you’re planning on traveling to a point of totality, be sure to make your arrangements as soon as possible, if they aren’t made already. This is a major astronomical event, and believe it or not, many people are traveling just to see it. In case you don’t already know, here is the map depicting the cities in which the total eclipse will occur:
I am so excited to see this eclipse, and I hope you are too! Please be safe when viewing it and, if you’re willing, share your experiences seeing this beauty with me in the comments!