• All About Solar Eclipses

  • A solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, the moon, and the Earth line up. When this happens in that order, the Sun’s light is blocked by the moon, causing a shadow over planet Earth – the one we all live on.

    This only happens for a short time, so you don’t have to worry. Things will be back to normal soon.

    When this shadow happens, just a small part of planet Earth will be in the centre of the shadow and able to see what is called a “total eclipse”. The rest of the Earth will be able to observe a “partial” eclipse – that just means that the Sun, the moon, and the Earth won’t be perfectly lined up, but still enough for us to witness some of the excitement. The path that the eclipse will be following will show a total shadow in many parts of the United States, but here in the Caribbean, we will see a partial eclipse. No reason to be too disappointed though, you can watch a live stream of the event from NASA’s website!

     

    SOLAR ECLIPSE SAFETY TIPS

     It is VERY IMPORTANT that you remember to NEVER look directly at the sun. Your eyes can become seriously damaged. With the shadow, your body’s natural protection from the sun such as blinking is reduced, but the potential for harm from the sun is not.

     To safely watch the eclipse, you’ll need special protective “Solar glasses”, or welder’s glasses that are dark enough to protect your eyes (ONLY shade 14; any lower is not safe!). Remember that sunglasses might help you feel safer but they are not enough to protect your eyes from the sunlight.

     It is NOT RECOMMENDED that you use homemade viewers, as there is no way to test their safety to be sure that your eyes will not become damaged.

     Do NOT try to take pictures of the eclipse. Doing so can cause damage to your camera as well as to your eyes!

     The Caribbean Institute of Astronomy (CARINA) advised that the eclipse will begin at 2:36PM, will reach maximum at 3:51PM and will end at 4:57PM.
    CARINA also said that the Sun will be covered 69% by diameter or 62% by area.

    You can safely view the eclipse with others interested at the following places:

     Queens Park Savannah, opposite TGI Friday’s with the Caribbean Institute of Astronomy

     San Fernando Hill with the Trinidad and Tobago Astro Club

     UWI St Augustine Campus, Quadrangle with the UWI Stargazers

     National Science Centre with NIHERST (The National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology)

     North East College Carpark, Sangre Grande with the North Eastern College Astronomical Society

    Use your profile to let us know if you watched the solar eclipse either outdoors or via NASA’s website and tell us what you thought!

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