It's the buzz of the science community right now, the total solar eclipse passing over the contiguous United States coming up on August 21. Unfortunately this far south we won't see a full solar eclipse but the moon will cause a big shadow over the sun that day and it will be neat to watch... safely of course! So here's everything you need to know about the solar eclipse over Kern County:
According to the site www.eclipse2017.org the total solar eclipse will be visible from Oregon to Wyoming to Missouri to South Carolina on August 21. The whole thing will take a bit more than two and a half hours. For us here in Kern County, we'll see the moon dip over the top of the sun starting at 9:04 a.m. According to the site www.timeanddate.com the peak of the eclipse for Bakersfield will happen at 10:20 a.m. with the moon covering a big chunk of the sun, but there will still be a large sliver of sunlight visible on the right side of the star. The moon will then keep passing down, clearing the sun by 11:43 a.m.
This is my favorite site of all, where you can type in your zip code and see the exact totality and timing of the solar eclipse for your area.
It is dangerous to look directly at the sun, especially because it won't be a total eclipse for us this far south, as it can cause permanent eye damage. So how do you view the eclipse safely? You can find a pair of eclipse glasses online, but beware of knock-offs. My favorite trick is to make a projector or just use two pieces of paper. Check out the tutorial on how to do this here.
And finally, find me on Facebook and let me know how you'll be viewing the eclipse! I posted a cool movie here where you can watch how the solar eclipse will happen over our heads that day. I'll be doing some Facebook Live sessions leading up to the event to show you how to make a projector and talk more about the science behind the solar eclipse and I'd love for you to join in the fun.