The eclipse essentials


Chris Jorgensen/Iowa State Daily

Eclipse glasses have been in demand approaching August 21st total eclipse. The glasses ensure that the user can safely look at the sun.

Tristan Wade

A solar eclipse is happening Monday. Here’s what you need to know:

1) Here in Ames, it won’t get dark. That only happens where the total eclipse path is and just a partial eclipse will occur in Ames.

2) Staring directly at the sun even while partially covered can damage your eyes, even when cloudy. Make sure to use proper eclipse glasses to protect your eyes while watching the eclipse.

3) Even though it won’t get dark in Ames there are still changes you can notice. Steve Kawaler, a physics and astronomy professor at Iowa State, said that shadows will begin to change. You can take a flat cheese grater to see how the rounds shadows will begin to curve.

4) The path of totality crosses the United States which means that for the first time in 38 years the contiguous U.S. will be able to see a total solar eclipse. The complete path can be seen on a map provided by NASA.

5) If you do decide to travel to the path of totality you will experience darkness for around 2 1/2 minutes. Kawaler said that there will be sunset colors around the horizon as well.