Things you want to know about the solar Eclipse


On August 21, 2017, for the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will occur across the entire continental United States, and just about everywhere in North America, you will be able to see a total or partial eclipse, as the moon blocks the sun. The so-called “path of totality” – the region from which the total eclipse is visible to watchers – is about 70 miles wide and will stretch across fourteen states, from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. The event is predicted to last less than three minutes, yet will cause one of the largest driver distractions in years. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is urging drivers to not pull over at unsafe locations, such as stopping on an interstate or parking on the shoulder to view the eclipse. Drivers should also take great care to watch for pedestrians and cyclists who may be looking skyward. Agencies have provided specific transportation information on a state-wide and national level to keep traffic flowing and help drivers be patient as the three-minute eclipse passes by. Drivers should expect extra traffic congestion, especially on interstates, in the days leading up to the eclipse and on the day on the event, and should plan their trips in advance by visiting the FHWA website for traveler information. If you are driving during the eclipse, keep your headlights on and do not take any photos while driving. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has offered advice on how to safely view the eclipse, and protect your eyes at all times with the proper solar filters. Do not use eclipse glasses while driving and do not use everyday sunglasses while viewing the eclipse, as they are not designed to protect your eyes as you stare into the sun. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters such as “eclipsed glasses” that are sold from reputable vendors.