Cell providers plan for extra usage during eclipse weekend

A total solar eclipse which is when the Moon completely covers the Sun will occur across 14 states in the continental U.S. on Aug 21 2017
A total solar eclipse which is when the Moon completely covers the Sun will occur across 14 states in the continental U.S. on Aug 21 2017. NASA
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12 August, 2017

For more information on how to view the 2017 solar eclipse safely, visit https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety. If you're witnessing the eclipse from outside the path, you won't be able to see the phenomenon of a total solar eclipse - the moon completely covering the sun - but instead will be getting glimpses of a partial covering.

After months of waiting and planning, the solar eclipse is finally nearly here! Both sizes vary a bit, since neither the moon's orbit nor the Earth's orbit are perfectly circular, so their distances change.

Satellites, which run on solar energy, can be affected by the lack of light during an eclipse because they usually don't run on battery power for very long.

While no data exists for how many made-for-eclipse eyeglasses are in circulation overall, shady distributors of purportedly solar-safe shades abound on the Internet, Fienberg said. It's the first time the USA has experienced a total solar eclipse since 1918, when the umbra started in Washington state and passed over Denver, Jackson, Mississippi, and Orlando, Florida, before leaving via the Atlantic coast.

The path of the much-hyped August 21 total eclipse won't come anywhere near the South Bay, but a livestream of totality as it crosses the US will allow the Inglewood Public Library to bring local residents to the event via the internet. For the more social types, community festivals centered on the eclipse have popped up in central viewing areas such as Wyoming, South Carolina, Tennessee and Oregon.

According to the NASA website, "the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters such as "eclipse glasses" or hand-held solar viewers". The event will take place on the lawn to the northeast of the 1918 Hoist House. This is because of the moon's size and its relative distance from the sun - when viewed from the Earth, it can identically cover the bright solar disc to reveal the tenuous, wispy outer atmosphere of the star (called the solar corona).

Social media activity has been increasing for months now, building up the anticipation to be part of this rare event.

"The eclipse turns off the ionosphere's source of high-energy radiation", said Bob Marshall, a space scientist at University of Colorado Boulder and principal investigator for one of the studies.

"It's definitely not safe just to look at it with binoculars or a telescope", Bridges said.

The solar eclipse occurs when the sun, the moon and the Earth forms a straight line. At this time, the Earth casts a shadow on the lunar surface.


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