Solar eclipse will impact nearly 2000 utility-scale solar plants

Marie Harrington
August 10, 2017

The map of the "path of totality" of the total solar eclipse on 21 August 2017 which will travel across the US. The last time this happened from coast to coast was 1918.

For those plants in the eclipse's direct path-from OR east to South Carolina-solar-powered generators will find their power source blocked by the moon for up to three minutes, though they will likely be affected to a lesser extent over the entire three hours surrounding the event. Eclipses occur every 12-18 months, but this is the first time a total eclipse has been visible in the US since February, 1979.

Russell N. Van Gelder, MD, Ph.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, has treated patients who have lost vision to the sun.

Unfortunately, Georgia will not be in the path of totality during that eclipse.

Specially made solar glasses or a number 14 or darker welder's glass are among the safest methods for direct viewing. It's not too late for a slacker to see the eclipse, provided you can stand up getting up early to drive to see it.

Jeannette Myers, professor of astronomy at Francis Marion University and director of the Dooley Planetarium shared at a recent workshop what viewers of the eclipse will see during this rare event.

"This eclipse viewer does not have any ISO certification at all so I would question whether this one is legitimate and if it's effective in protecting my retinas from the solar rays". Get the exact time and totality for your area here. Think about how you can use that typical handheld magnifier to focus the sun to burn holes in paper.

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The filter protects the imaging sensor on cameras and optical devices as well as your eyes. By then, I expect to be spending quite a few afternoons fishing, and I'll be looking forward to hearing what my granddaughter Laura remembers about seeing this year's eclipse with her mom.

There is one exception to this rule. In this case, the total eclipse will last up to 2 minutes and 40-plus seconds in places. The sun is vastly larger than our moon, but also vastly further away in just the right proportion that both our moon and the sun appear about half a degree on the sky.

On Monday, August 21 the sun, moon and Earth will line up in an act of cosmic serendipity that will turn day across the 2,680-mile width of the United States.

"The next day, as millions gather for the event, you'll ascend in a private jet to a spectacular view of the eclipse in all its glory", Airbnb said on its website. Seeing a partial eclipse with the total eclipse so close by is like going to the Louvre and standing outside, without ever stepping foot in front of the Mona Lisa, Dague said.

Southern Illinois is another popular Midwestern destination, and Amtrak has added a one-time-only Eclipse Train from Chicago to lovely Carbondale, Ill., near where the longest period of totality will occur in the U.S. The eclipse express costs $153 round-trip, leaving Chicago at 3 a.m. on the 21st and returning that night.

Here in Northeast Ohio, the eclipse won't be total - about 85 percent of the sun will be blocked at its peak.

There are no exceptions to the rules for safely viewing a partial solar eclipse. Ordinary sunglasses are not a replacement for eclipse-viewing glasses and should not be used. That's much darker than the shades arc welders typically wear.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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