Eye on the Eclipse: What you need to know on the upcoming solar eclipse

(WSVN) - In one month, Americans will be able to see a total solar eclipse across the country from one coast to the other. Where exactly will it darken the skies? 7’s Patrick Fraser is here with what you need to know to get your Eye on the Eclipse.

It is an event you will never see in the United States again.

Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego: “It’s the first time in 99 years that we are going to have a total solar eclipse that’s going to do a coast-to-coast.”

A once-in-a-lifetime show.

Susan Barnette: “A total solar eclipse is one of the most awesome things you can see in the sky.”

On Aug. 21, the moon will cross in front of the sun, leaving a 70-mile-wide strip of darkness from Oregon, across 14 states to South Carolina.

Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego: “I’ve been told by many people that have that it’s very difficult to explain, not only how they look like, but also, what they make you feel.”

In Florida, we won’t get the total eclipse, but it will be close.

Susan Barnette: “We’re going to get a very good, what we call, a partial eclipse. We will be able to see the moon approach to cover about 80 percent of the sun.”

TimeandDate.com has created an animation that shows what we can expect in South Florida. The moon creeps across the sun at 1:30 in the afternoon. Peak viewing is at 3:01 when 80 percent of the sun’s surface will be covered, and it will take another hour and 20 minutes for the moon to move out of the way. That’s the fascinating news.

Now, the but.

Susan Barnette: “It can burn the cornea, it can burn your retina. It will cause permanent and lasting damage.”

In other words, you might regret it for the rest of your life if you look at the eclipse without some sort of protection. Sunglasses won’t help your eyes. But, you can safely watch if you wear special glasses.  Stores will sell them. Or, if you are still worried about damaging your eyes, go to a planetarium.

Susan Barnette: “We will have our telescopes out with special filters that make it safe to look through.”

Many South Floridians don’t want to view a partial eclipse. They want to see the entire thing.

Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego: “I’m not going to miss this one.”

Jorge Perez-Gallego will join the millions who head to that special 70-mile-wide strip to catch the spectacular show.

Susan Barnette: “Hotel rooms and campgrounds have been sold out for years, and over 200 million people live within a couple of hours drive of it.”

It will be incredible for humans, confusing for animals.

Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego: “When we get to totality, animals are going to go to sleep. Because they are going to feel that it’s nighttime.”

An amazing event, and if you don’t feel like driving a few hours or going out in the hot South Florida sun, don’t worry. Just watch it online or on 7News.


Miami Eclipse

NASA Eclipse Info

Beuhler Planetarium

Frost Museum of Science

Where to Get Special Glasses

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