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How Solar Filters Can Be Your Way to a Safer, More Enjoyable Solar Eclipse

How Solar Filters Can Be Your Way to a Safer, More Enjoyable Solar Eclipse

They may be rare, but they’re beautiful – and often, they’re an occasion you don’t want to miss for the world. Solar eclipses – the minutes and hours when the sun is swallowed by the moon, casting a shadow far across the earth – have been a natural astronomical phenomenon for millions of years. But it’s only within the past few centuries that we’ve developed the science and the math to time them and understand them. Now, thanks to solar filters, we can safely enjoy them.

Why do we need a solar filter to be able to enjoy the view of a blackened sun?
What makes these so damaging to your eyes? It’s simple. Any which way you cut it, watching a solar eclipse still requires you to stare at the sun. Even when it’s blacked out completely, the sun’s light is so bright it can harm your eyes. Having solar filters, like those by Eclipse Glasses, is sure to help protect you from the sun’s damaging rays while you’re trying to observe the eclipse.

What exactly is a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves smack-dab between the earth and the sun. Solar eclipses can only happen during a new moon. When there is a new moon, and the sun, earth and moon align in an angle known as the syzygy.
However, the moon doesn’t have to align perfectly with the sun to be considered a solar eclipse – there are several kinds of solar eclipses, and they depend on one significant thing – the moon’s shadow, or which part of the moon covers our view of the sun.

* First, the umbra. The umbra is the innermost part of the moon’s shadow. If the Umbra is in view, then the sun is completely blacked out – none of its disk is visible any more. That is a total solar eclipse.
* If the penumbra is seen, only part of the sun is covered by the moon, while much of the sun’s disc remains in view. That would be a partial solar eclipse.
* Finally, there is the antumbra. When the antumbra is visible, only the outer rim of the sun is visible, creating that iconic ring of light around a black moon. This is called an annular solar eclipse.

There is a fourth kind of solar eclipse – the hybrid. Essentially, it’s when the antumbra shifts into the umbra over the course of an eclipse, going from an annular one into a total eclipse.

So get yourself a pair of eclipse glasses and prepare to watch the next solar eclipse in safety and fun!

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