Behold the Eclipse
Aug 17, 2017 11:26AM
● By Randy Robinson
It’s being called the “Celestial Event of the Century,” probably because the last time Americans experienced this was nearly 40 years ago, when bellbottoms were chic and cassette tapes were a new thing. On Monday, August 21, the US will witness a total solar eclipse, where the moon passes in front of the sun. When this occurs, our lunar satellite will blot out our nearest star, blanketing the daytime hour in a brief bout of darkness. The sun’s corona may blaze around the moon’s perimeter, and stars might be visible in that inky near-noon sky, too.
In Colorado, we won’t see the eclipse in its “totality,” a term for when the moon completely covers the sun. Rather, we’ll get a glimpse of a “partial” eclipse, which still looks pretty gnarly, even if there’s a sliver of sunshine peeking from behind the moon. The eclipse should start around 10:20 a.m., reach its zenith by 11:50 a.m., and end around 1:15 p.m. If you want to catch the totality, better plan a trip to Wyoming or Nebraska now.
If you miss this month’s solar eclipse, 2045 marks the next time we will see one in Colorado. Fortunately, that one should total out, so no treks to the cornfields or pastures of our neighboring states. (If you can hold out for another 28 years ... )
Caution! Staring at the sun is hazardous to the eyes. Avoid watching the eclipse with naked peepers. To gaze at the astronomical anomaly, get your hands on a pair of special solar eclipse glasses. These stellar spectacles will be available—for free—at local libraries through a project cofounded by astronomer Douglas Duncan of the University of Colorado. However, the free glasses won’t last long. If your nearest library runs out, you can purchase them from companies such as High Point Scientific. (highpointscientific.com)