Saturday, July 20, 2024

Eclipse Mania!!!

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Connecticut Time Table:
Partial eclipse begins: 2:13 p.m.

Maximum: 3:27 p.m.
Partial ends: 4:37 p.m.

By Barbara Heimlich
Editor

Sources: Rich Kirby,Patch Staff

Yes, the Stratford Crier has jumped on the Eclipse mania ride. If you believe the National Weather Service, there are going to be mostly clear skies throughout most of the state.

Catch It While You Can

The best reason to watch is that it will be March 30, 2033, before another total solar eclipse touches the United States, and that’s only on the tip of Alaska. It’ll be August 12, 2044, before the next eclipse sweeps across the lower 48 states, with parts of Montana and North Dakota experiencing totality. 

If you don’t want to watch in your backyard, the Patch scoured the state and found public events that might be of interest:

Whats Happening Around Connecticut?

Western Connecticut State University is inviting the public to witness the partial solar eclipse on the WCSU Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Weather permitting, astronomy instructors and volunteers will lead safe solar viewing and eclipse-related activities from 1:45 to 4:45 p.m. outside the Science Building.

The Leitner Family Observatory & Planetariumat Yale University in New Haven will be hosting an eclipse viewing event. Bring your own glasses.

The Connecticut Science Center in Hartford is holding an Eclipse Party from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets available online.

The Mystic Seaport Museum’s Treworgy Planetarium will be offering a series of free activities for visitors to learn about the eclipse. 

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will be hosting its own watching event at Camp Harkness, Harkness Memorial State Park, and Waterford Beach from 1 to 4:45 p.m. There is more info online.

Lyman Orchards in Middlefield will host an eclipse event targeting kids, from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday. The first 70 people who show up will get free eclipse glasses with any Apple Barrel Farm Market purchase.

Be Sure To Protect Your Eyes

Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the sun’s face is completely obscured by the moon, it is not safe to look directly at the sun without protective eye equipment, according to NASA.

The American Astronomical Society has a list of vendors whose eclipse glasses have been certified as safe. The organization specifically warns against bargain hunting for eclipse glasses from online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay or Temu because counterfeit glasses have infiltrated retail chains. Wherever you acquire protective eyewear, it should meet or exceed the international safety standard of ISO 12312-2:2015.

Eclipse Opens Scientific Window

Another thing that makes the 2024 solar eclipse markedly different from the 2017 event is that it’s occurring as the sun is at its peak activity cycle, called solar maximum. In 2017, the sun was approaching minimum. This year’s eclipse opens a unique window for scientists to study the sun’s corona.

“The eclipse that we have coming up in 2024 is going to be a very different eclipse from what we saw in 2017 because this corona that we see is going to have much more structure,” Lisa Upton, a solar scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, told Scientific American.

The violent solar storms occurring right now are responsible for auroras that dance far outside their Arctic and Antarctic ranges, but also carry the potential to knock out internet satellites for months, take down power grids, and interfere with navigation satellites. Right now, these events happen with little warning, but scientists are working on their ability to predict space weather.

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