Who’s excited for the total solar eclipse? You know, the one that’s supposed to stretch from the western coast to the eastern coast of the U.S.? The last time an eclipse spread across a nation is was 1918 and it’s safe to say that technology has changed just a little bit since then.
The solar phenomenon will take place on Aug. 21, 2017—and you better not blink because the eclipse will only last for about two minutes. If you do blink and somehow miss the eclipse entirely, you won’t see it happen again until Aug. 12, 2045 which is, like, really far away.
So what’s the big deal with this eclipse?
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill eclipse where just a sliver of the sun gets hidden—in select cities across the U.S., it’ll be a total solar eclipse. Pretty much the ‘cool mom’ of space events. But the hype doesn’t stop there because a team of NASA-funded scientists figured out a way to get an even longer look at the eclipse(about 7 minutes to be exact).
The Boulder, CO team, led by Amir Caspi, will fly in a pair of converted Cold War-era jet bombers decked out with stabilized telescopes in the nose cones. Their mission is to chase the moon’s shadow as the path of totality moves across the central United States.
Wow, I’m excited! Now how can I get my kids to care?
Good news for you: Google and Mystery Science have collaborated to help educate children about the solar eclipse so they can join the hype. Mystery Science’s website full of resources for teachers now includes lesson plans leading up to the eclipse. What’s Google got to do with this, you might ask? They designed glasses meeting NASA’s standards with extremely dark lenses for anyone who wants to directly view the eclipse. And bonus, there’s no risk in damaging your eyesight while wearing the fashionable glasses. The eclipse glasses are being distributed for free at any library within the STAR Library Education Network, or teachers can request them from Mystery Science.
How can I remember this event forever?
If you can’t get ahold of the stellar eclipse glasses as memorabilia, don’t you worry because USPS has designed a first-of-its-kind stamp commemorating the eclipse for the Forever Stamp collection. The stamps use a photograph snapped by astrophysicist Fred Espenake in 2006, along with thermochromic ink, which enables a secondary image to show in response to heat. A moon appears on the stamp with a warm touch and then fades back to the eclipse once the stamp has cooled down. These stamps are definitely a collector must.
Bummer, I’m not along the eclipse path
Now, I know not all of you live in central U.S. but I’ve got one last surprise for you. Live streaming platform Stream will be hosting a live stream of the eclipse at http://eclipse.stream.live. So no matter where in the world you are, you can tune in to see this incredible event take place.