August 21 – September 3, 2017
NEVER look directly at the Sun with your naked eyes! Specialized solar filter required!
Mount Washington — At about 1:15 p.m., go outdoors to check for clear skies and to take a deep breath in recognition that today, Monday the 21st of August 2017, is a rare day under the Sun. We will experience the movement of celestial bodies, which promises to feel like the “music of the spheres.” With eyes shielded by solar-viewing glasses, see the moon move in front of the Sun, eclipse the Sun! A slowly progressing partial eclipse of the Sun begins at 1:23 p.m. At maximum eclipse, 2:43 p.m., the Sun will be a crescent of light, 73 percent darkened. That’s 1 hour 20 minutes from inception to peak. It will take another 1 hour 14 minutes for the sun to return to full. The partial eclipse ends at 3:57 p.m.
Protect your eyes at all times during this partial eclipse of the sun. Even the best sunglasses are useless for solar viewing. If you don’t have the eye-protective lenses required, it will be easy to take turns watching the progress of the eclipse with someone who does because the changes are so slow that you won’t miss anything. Secure your eclipse glasses over your eyes and take turns looking at the sun and moon duet at intervals, for example, every five or 10 minutes.
If the sky is overcast at your location, live-streaming video of the eclipse across America will be accessible all day at https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive and many other venues listed at https://www.space.com/37736-total-solar-eclipse-2017-live-streams.html
Several compelling, informative short videos covering everything from the why of wearing eye protection when looking at the sun to footage of the telescope-equipped jet planes that will record observations are at https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/local/weather/this-is-why-you-need-special-sunglasses-to-view-the-total-eclipse/2017/08/09/fafcccd8-7d0b-11e7-b2b1-aeba62854dfa_video.html
Astronomer Jay Pasachoff is working with PBS’s NOVA on a television program, Eclipse Over America, to be aired on public television stations tonight at 9 p.m.
Let’s be in touch about experiences gleaned by viewers of the partial eclipse as well as to hear from those who will observe the eclipse from the path of totality. I am happy to share this communication from Kevin Collins, an accomplished amateur astronomer: “I highly recommend seeing this event here in the Northeast, partial eclipses are spectacular in and of themselves!”
Opportunities to participate
Today at 1:30 p.m. Eclipse Viewing at Mason Library, Great Barrington
Today, check all-day, live-streaming video of the total eclipse
NASA – https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive
Slooh – https://www.slooh.com
Selection of venues
Tonight at 9 p.m. Eclipse Over America to air on PBS – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/eclipse-over-america.html
Excellent short videos – https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/local/weather/this-is-why-you-need-special-sunglasses-to-view-the-total-eclipse/2017/08/09/fafcccd8-7d0b-11e7-b2b1-aeba62854dfa_video.html
Astronomer Jay Pasachoff prepares – http://www.iberkshires.com/story/55329/As-Eclipse-Nears-Williams-College-Crew-Prepares.html?source=most_read
Total eclipse experiences –