Students and staff will be observing the solar eclipse on Monday under the supervision of teachers with solar viewers provided by the PTSA .
All students will go outside with their Period 1 teachers and remain with them the whole time until the break. Teachers will provide solar eclipse education and safety instructions before going outside. (Viewer authenticity has been confirmed.)
What causes a solar eclipse? The first fact to understand about solar eclipses is that they occur because of a remarkable cosmic coincidence: the Sun is just about the same apparent size in our sky as the Moon. While the Sun is actually about 400 times larger in diameter than the Moon, the Moon is also about 400 times closer than the Sun. Therefore, the Sun and the Moon appear to be about the same size in our sky.
This single fact explains why we see total solar eclipses – the Moon has an apparent size that just barely covers the Sun completely, yet is not too large that the Sun’s atmosphere, its corona, is eclipsed as well. We on Earth occupy a celestial sweet spot to witness this sight.
If there are intelligent beings in other solar systems, the odds must be quite low that they would enjoy the same circumstance as we on Earth. So we are the beneficiaries of a wonderful cosmic coincidence.
How can you safely view a solar eclipse? Looking directly at the sun can cause permanent damage to your eyes, and most of the time we wouldn’t think of doing it. But during an eclipse people want to safely see what’s happening. The only truly safe way to directly view an eclipse is using an ISO approved filter, as in eclipse glasses and solar viewers. You may observe an eclipse indirectly through the leaves of trees, using a pegboard, or making a pinhole viewer by poking a hole in a sturdy paper plate and allowing the sun to shine through onto a viewing plate or paper. Never use a camera, binoculars, telescope, sunglasses, film or x-ray plates to view an eclipse.
Thankfully, our PTSA will provide each student a pair of eclipse viewing glasses that will safely allow for the viewing of the eclipse, especially during maximum darkness (10:10 – 10:20am). All classrooms will have information available prior to viewing.