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August 21, 2017, will be an important day in the history of the planet because a solar eclipse will shade vast regions of America and marvel those who will have the opportunity to observe it either entirely or partially.

A total solar eclipse is an event that millions of people have never seen and won’t have the chance again in their lifetime because in a particular site of the Earth it can be seen every 360 years.

That is why when people know that this phenomenon is happening soon, the inhabitants of such region plan in advance to observe it.

What does it mean “preparing in advance”?

Take the necessary measures to enjoy it, since it is not the same thing a lunar eclipse than a solar eclipse. The former can be seen safely without any eye protection, but the Sun eclipse should not be observed without protection because it causes irreversible damages to your vision if you do not use the proper eye filters.

It is not even recommended to watch the eclipse when the Moon completely covers the Sun, creating a total darkness on the Earth and only the solar corona is visible. The reason for this is that this stage only has a very short duration and the instant In which the moon changes position and lets the intense light pass through, there is a risk of permanent damage to your sight or even blindness.

Solar eclipse 2017
Protect your eyes from a solar eclipse.

Some think that a quick view will not be harmful, but changes in brightness occur so suddenly that there is no time for the eyes to adjust or look the other way.

In a nutshell, you should NEVER look at the Sun directly during any phase of the eclipse.

The first thing you should have is a solar eclipse visualization device. We are not talking about objects of everyday use that reduce the brightness while driving or are on the beach, like sunglasses, but equipment that has the adequate filters and complies with the safety standards certified for that use.

A secure way to observe a solar eclipse is using special goggles. If you do not get the proper goggles, you can opt for glasses that meet the international safety standards with an ISO 12312-2 certification.

The only important thing is the safety of your eyes. If you have children, taking care of them is paramount. Be sure to protect their vision all the time, and above all, watch them, so they do not remove the protection just for curiosity. If you as a parent do not feel confident that the devices are enough, you can make together with your child an eclipse viewpoint with two pieces of cardboard.

First, you must put one of the pieces on the floor. Then, make a small round punch to the other piece of cardboard. Turn your back to the Sun and lift the cardboard with the hole so that the reflection points to the piece on the floor. The picture will be projected and will be able to see the form of the eclipse safely.

Objects you should not use

You should not use sunglasses as protection. Special glasses are 100,000 times darker than sunglasses and are designed to absorb ultraviolet and infrared radiation that is so damaging to your retina. Avoid telescopes and binoculars as well. These devices are not made to observe the Sun unless they have safe sun filters. Using them will have the effect of the famous experiment when we use a magnifying glass to burn a paper concentrating the sun light but in your eyes.

Something that is not so common but would work fine for this event is the welding masks. However, not all have the protection level to create a security barrier between the Sun and our eyes. You should be sure to get #14; not even #13 will work. Also, check that it is good quality or brand that guarantee that the protection is appropriate.

Recommendations for viewing the solar eclipse.

The best option, however, is the eclipse glasses that are currently easily found at affordable prices. Remember that safety and health are first, so check that they are good quality.

Perhaps seeing an eclipse is awesome for a few seconds, but putting your eyes at risk is not worth it. What happens if we ignore the warnings? It is not a myth that you can get blind. Watching a solar eclipse unprotected can cause partial or total blindness, as intense brightness causes damage to the retina, the part of the eye sensitive to light.

The Sun would be like putting thousands of powerful lights into the retina, which gets burned instantly. The most dangerous thing about it is that the retina does not transmit pain signals to the brain. You might look at the thinking that there is no harm and that the warning you read or heard was a lie, but an instant is too long for such a delicate part of your eyes.

Whether alone, with family or friends, do not miss this wonderful and unique moment that nature gives us, as long as you have the certainty that the objects that you have will protect your health.

 

 

References

https://www.nytimes.com/guides/science/how-to-watch-a-solar-eclipse?em_pos=medium&emc=edit_sc_20170814&nl=science-times&nl_art=5&nlid=79749554&ref=img&te=1

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zcytpv4

A solar eclipse is a phenomenon caused by the interposition of the Moon between the Sun and the Earth, dimming the sun light either entirely or partially.

Eclipses are more common than you might think, but at a particular site on Earth, you can see a total solar eclipse only once every 360 years.

Why does a solar eclipse occur?

As you know, the moon, Earth and other planets and satellites spin around their axis and at the same time orbit around the Sun. The duration of the orbits varies according to the distance from the sun, so at different times of the year, the planets are in different positions.

Solar eclipses occur only if the moon is in the new moon phase.
When the moon is in the new moon phase, it is orbiting very close to the Sun from a perspective seen from Earth, and that is when a solar eclipse can happen. Strictly speaking, solar eclipses occur only if the moon is in the new moon phase, but this obviously does not mean that they can happen every month. Sun and moon eclipses would occur every month only if the moon rotated in the same plane in which the Earth does around the Sun, called the ecliptic plane.

Another important issue is that the moon is at a distance from earth that is similar in size to the sun, so it can perfectly cover the sun when it passes in front of it in the case of total eclipses.

Each year there are between 2 and five eclipses, and every 100 years occur about 240.

Characteristics of a solar eclipse

On average, a total solar eclipse occurs every 18 months and lasts no more than a few seconds or minutes. Each year there are between 2 and five eclipses, and every 100 years occur about 240. However, there are no more than two total eclipses every year.

In a solar eclipse, the umbra is the shadow projected on the Earth and produced by the moon when it completely blocks the light from the Sun; therefore the people on such area see a total eclipse. In contrast, a softer shadow product of a partially covered sun is the penumbra; evidently, people that experience the penumbra see a partial eclipse.

What are the types of solar eclipses?

There are four types:

Total eclipse.
It is only visible from a small area of ​​the Earth where the moon completely covers the Sun. People in the center of the moon’s shadow are the ones who can see a total solar eclipse since the umbra passes in that area of ​​the earth’s surface.

During this type of eclipse, you can observe the chromosphere, which is the outermost zone of the Sun, along with the solar corona and other protrusions.

Annular eclipse.
This kind of phenomenon happens when it is only possible to observe a small section of light in the form of a ring from the disk of the Sun since the Sun and the Moon are aligned, but the size of the latter is smaller than the apparent dimension of the Sun seen from the Earth.

types of solar eclipses.

Partial eclipse.
In this type of eclipse, only a part of the Sun’s disk is visible, so the crown and the chromosphere can not be seen. The shadow of the Moon passes through an area of ​​the earth’s surface, and it is called the penumbra; therefore, a person located in this area observes a partial eclipse.

Hybrid eclipse.
A hybrid eclipse is the fourth type, but it is very unusual. It happens when the eclipse is total in some regions of the terrestrial surface, while in others it is seen like annular eclipse.

IMPORTANT! You should not observe the solar eclipse directly with your eyes; A special filter must be used to protect your eyes. Otherwise, you risk damaging your retina irreversible to the point of losing your sight.

Eclipses in culture

Despite not affecting humans, solar eclipses were associated with bad omens and mythological events by some ancient cultures. For example, the Vikings believed that during eclipses wolves pursued the sun or the moon and managed to catch them. This belief of beings who ate the sun or the moon was common in many ancient cultures so that people used to bang objects hard enough to make a sharp noise that would frighten the evil creature.

One of the myths that still survive in some parts of the world is that these eclipses can be dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn children, but this belief has no scientific basis. However, it is important to remark that you should not watch the solar eclipse directly with your eyes without a proper filter to avoid eye damage.

Photo Courtesy of NASA

Sun

The Giant Star

 

The Sun is not a planet, it is a star.  Most people forget that the Sun isn’t a planet but it’s really the brightest star in the Solar System. The Sun is almost a perfect sphere shape and has hot plasma – in fact it is made up of hot plasma with a unique magnetic field system also.  Though, it is thought that the sun is going to be made up almost of helium, this is a small portion and the remainder is of hydrogen. It is said to be a lot of different and heavy elements found on the sun which includes iron, carbon, oxygen, neon and a lot of other elements.

Around 4.5 billion years ago, was when the earth was formed because of the collapse of a molecular cloud. It is referred to the big bang which helped formed the solar system. The mass of the sun started to become hotter and hotter as the days past in the beginning of the sun’s formation.

The sun is the brightest star in the solar system and it is around 85% brighter than all of the stars in the entire Milky Way galaxy. Most of the stars are considered to be red dwarf stars; the sun is a necessity when it comes to keeping the earth alive and the human population alive also.

The actual distance of the sun from the earth is about 149.6 million kilometres which is a tremendous distance but it is not that far away actually. The light coming from the sun can travel to the earth in around 8 minutes and 20 seconds; and the energy of the sunlight will help to support every single life form on earth. It will run the different weather, seasons and even the climate of the earth also.

The prehistoric era has to be the time in which the sun had most effect on the earth; and the sun is a star that has taken its time to form. It wasn’t always the size as it is now; it did take many years to form it size and become stronger and stronger and has continued to get brighter in the sky also.

Everyone can view the sun from earth though it is not going to be wise to stare directly at the sun because it can cause damage to the eyes. It will be wise not to directly stare at the sun but wear protective eye wear when it comes to looking at the sun. Though, the sun can be very harmful to the skin because too much from rays the sun gives off, can cause damage to the skin including some skin cancers.

The sun image
The Giant Star / Photo courtesy of NASA

Core

The Sun’s core makes up almost 25% of the solar radius and has a huge density of almost 150 g/cm.  The temperatures of the sun is going to be certainly very hot at a possible 15.7 million K (Kelvin) and this is certainly a temperature no human could stand.

The core of the sun is going to be the only part of the sun that is going to offer thermal energy through fusion.  Almost 99 percent of all power which is generated from the sun comes from the radius and the rest of the sun gets is energy from radiation coming from the core also.  However, the energy that comes from the core will have to go through a variety of layers of the sun to get to the surface or the outside of the core. It will need to travel to the solar photosphere where it will go out into the space; it will go into space as sunlight or even as kinetic energy.

There are gamma rays coming from the sun which is released in fusion. They don’t get far though as they are trapped basically in the atmosphere of the sun and is kept close to the sun.  Radiation can take a lot of time to actually reach the surface of the sun – almost ten thousand years and in some cases, longer. However, neutrinos can reach the surface within seconds which offers energy going to the surface and space.

Atmosphere

Some part of the Sun which is found above the photosphere can be known as the solar atmosphere. The solar atmosphere can actually be seen via a telescope but the telescope must go through the electromagnetic spectrum of the Sun.

The layers and layers on the suns interior is going to be around 2000 km thick and there are going to be several layers in all. Though the sun isn’t just orange or yellow; it is a mixture of colors because have a lot of bright gases circling and as a result there are many more bright colors that shine through.

The temperatures of the sun continue to get hotter and hotter as the layers go deeper. There are going to be times when the sun looks as though it has a whip throwing itself out from the sun and it can resemble a string of fire trying to escape. The sun continues to do this and has done this because it’s a way of some energy of escaping.

Sun star
Solar Flare / Photo courtesy of NASA

Earth’s fate in the future?

There are some studies which have claimed that the Sun will continue to grow and when it does, it will almost disintegrate the Earth. However, if the earth does survive, it could mean that all of the water sources on earth will dry up and be lost in space. This will destroy the entire earth and the population because the intense heat from the sun will be all too much to bear for anyone.

This is because the temperatures are increasing and it is said even though it’s moving slowly in many billions of years, there could be big problems rising because of this.

Another theory says that many believe that in billions of years, the sun will eventually cool down and will expand.

The Source of Energy

The sun is going to provide the earth will its main source of energy.  Many people don’t think about this but it’s true because this is where most energy sources come from and it has become something that is required to help keep the earth revolving and working correctly.  Though, there are other sources of energy from outer space but this is only going to be due to the death of another star and the remnants of that star.

How this works, is that the materials of the star will be trapped into the earth and the earth’s crust which will offer a rise of geothermal energy.  This will offer more volcano forms on earth and this will help to add fuel for nuclear reactors.  Strangely though, there is less power heading to the surface of the earth.

Though, when it comes to solar energy, this is possible to harness in a variety of options.  However, this is going to help natural and synthetic things such as plants because plants will take in the sunlight and help it to grow.  The sunlight can convert the energy such as oxygen and even some carbon compounds which will offer direct heat or even electrical conversion.  This is done via solar cells which are used by the solar power equipment; this will help to generate electricity.

This is how most of the planet runs because it is a vital source of energy and very much needed.  The sun is close to the Milky Way Galaxy, particularly at the Orion Arm.

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