The hunt for solar eclipse glasses and alternative viewing techniques

Posted at 9:46 AM, Aug 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-20 12:46:45-04

Trying to find the NASA approved solar eclipse glasses around town has proved to be somewhat of a challenge.

They were rumored to be sold at some local libraries and even the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science. However this morning there was a sign on the museum entrance stating they were sold out of glasses as well.

If you aren't one of the lucky few to get your hands on the glasses there are other techniques you can try to be able to view the eclipse. Take a piece of cardboard or paper and poke a pinhole in it. Then reflect that on another sheet of paper to be able to view what is happening. NASA will also be live streaming the eclipse on their website.

The solar eclipse is set to begin at 9:04 a.m. tomorrow and and the peak point will be at 10:20 a.m. with the eclipse ending at 11:43 a.m. 

Here are some fun facts about the eclipse: 

1. The last time a total solar eclipse was visible from the United States was in February of 1979 and the next viewable eclipse will be in the year 2024.

2. The line of totality expands 70 miles and will pass through 14 states. It starts in northwest Oregon and moves diagonally ending in southeast South Carolina.

3. Total solar eclipses are very rare. They occur about every 18 months all over the world. They can last for a total of seven minutes and 30 seconds. However this particular eclipse will last for 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

4. If you plan on viewing the eclipse through a camera or smart phone the lenses can be damaged much in the same way staring at the eclipse would damage your eyes. So don't point any devices directly at the sun either.

5. If you want to travel to get a better view of the solar eclipse Portland will have 99% of the sun covered by the moon. A little closer to home however is L.A. which will have 62% coverage and Phoenix will have 63% coverage.

And remember to keep pets indoors during this eclipse because they can look up into the sky and damage their eyes as well.