Solar Eclipse Tomorrow, May 20th.

What the Eclipse tomorrow will look like for many people

I can’t believe it’s been almost 18 years since the last solar eclipse was visible in the U.S. but as I think about it, I was in school playing with index cards with pinholes in them – and sneaking a peak at the sun because I didn’t really believe it would cause blindness. (I turned out OK, but I should also not recommend trusting your eyes to the judgement of a then young kid.)

The National Parks Service has a number of programs running for those lucky enough or forward thinking enough to be there tomorrow. For those who won’t be in the western two-thirds of the US (or China or parts of Mexico or Canada), the NPS will be web casting the eclipse on this site from 9:00 to 10:00 PM Eastern Time.

Adding to the interesting views that will be available is that the sun is approaching solar maximum, where the number of sunspots peaks. This is part of the 11-13 year solar cycle, and while no particularly huge sunspots are present, as shown by the Space Weather site, those with appropriate viewing equipment and angles may get some very cool pictures, with a sun-spotted disk partially covered by the moon.

The National Parks have dozens of solar eclipse events going on, and I’m sure many state and local parks will have events as well. If you get a chance, try to check this out since there won’t be another chance to see an eclipse til 2017 in the US. If you try to view it directly, welder’s masks do a good job of blocking excessive light (and think about that before staring at the sun with no protection – that is some intense light) and you can use projection methods shown here to check out the eclipse.

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