©istockphoto.com / solarseven
Today’s the day! If you’ve been living under a rock, here’s the scoop: the United States will experience its first coast-to-coast eclipse in 99 years. In New Jersey, the eclipse will begin around 1:22 pm, reach its maximum at 2:44 pm, and end around 4 pm. For more eclipse factoids (the path of totality, the forecast, where you can watch) click here.
Protect everyone’s eyes when watching
It’s extremely important to follow safety precautions when viewing the eclipse, and double-check that your glasses are safe to use. Make sure you and your children do not look directly at the eclipse. If you look at the sun without proper protective eyewear, you can cause permanent damage to your retinas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and eye doctors. That’s why many area camps, sports and band practices will be moved indoors during its peak. Also super important: Make sure your family pets don’t look at the sun, either!
Photo courtesy NASA
Make sure you have the right glasses
If you’ve already picked up solar-viewing glasses, make sure they haven’t been recalled. If you purchased glasses from Jenkinson’s Boardwalk or EverythingBranded.com, your glasses may have been recalled.
Put the phone down (and skip the selfie!)
Snapping a family photo during the eclipse may sound like a good idea, but leave your iPhone on the counter. The eclipse can fry your camera lens, but if you have an extra pair of glasses you can take a picture with the glasses covering the lens. In addition, taking a selfie with your phone is dangerous. Your phone can reflect the Sun’s UV rays directly into your eyes, and can lead to a solar burn.
Watch a live-stream
Keep the learning going
The Exploratorium and PBS Learning Media have tons of kid-friendly information and videos that explain how a solar eclipse happens. Once the kiddos are inspired, keep the learning going with one of these DIY crafts inspired by the eclipse.