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Eye safety and viewing parties for Aug. 21 partial solar eclipse

A coast-to-coast solar eclipse will happen on August 21 throughout the United States. An eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun, causing the sun to be blocked for short period of time. A partial eclipse will be visible in Minnesota, other parts of the United States will see a total solar eclipse.

In Ramsey County, residents will see about 80 percent of the sun blocked during the peak time, which will happen at 1:06 p.m. Locally, the moon will begin moving in-between the Earth and the sun at 11:43 a.m. and end at 2:29 p.m.

Eye safety

Looking directly at the sun during an eclipse can cause serious damage to your eyes. Without special eye protection, even viewing a partial eclipse can cause vision loss and permanent blindness. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following precautions to protect your eyes while viewing an eclipse:

  • Wear eclipse glasses or use a handheld solar viewer. (The American Astronomical Society has a list of reputable vendors selling glasses and other filters to safely view an eclipse),  
  • A pinhole camera is another way to indirectly view it, as you will see a projection of the sun and moon. They can easily be made from household materials.
  • Avoid looking at the sun through an unfiltered camera, smartphone, telescope or any other optical device,
  • Do not use goggles, homemade filters or sunglasses, they will not protect your eyes.

Viewing events

Several Ramsey County Library locations and Tamarack Nature Center will be hosting viewing parties and providing "eclipse glasses" to safely view this exciting event. All ages are welcome to attend these free events:

Posted on Thursday, August 3, 2017 - 10:56 a.m.