It’s a Solar Eclipse of the Heart!

Not really, just a play on the Bonnie Tyler song. You can stream it through your library and Freegal!

Today is the Solar Eclipse and the librarian in me wants to share some information. While this is a very exciting event, if you don’t have the proper solar eclipse glasses, don’t look at it. That’s it, plain and simple.

So what happens if you just take a peek? According to scientists and ophthalmologists, all it takes is thirty seconds (30!) to cause permanent damage to the eye. Apparently, you may not feel it right away, but a day or two later you could have a permanent blind spot in one or both eyes or other permanent visual problems.

There is a story going around on Facebook and via email, etc. about a man who damaged his eyesight during the 1962 eclipse. This is not just a rumor, you can see it here:

To be safe, you can watch it outside with the correct glasses. The American Astronomical Society has a list of approved vendors and what to look for here. It is rather surprising that the manufacturers of these products did not produce enough supply to meet demand. I don’t understand how these companies missed the boat on this. They were making a product that had a guaranteed, short shelf life and they easily could have sold tons more, just based on the number of phone calls and requests that I have had at my library.

The safest way to watch it, and for me in south Florida, the only way to see the full eclipse, is to watch it on TV or stream it online.

NASA.GOV will stream 10 live webcasts, each with a different angle. See the eclipse from the International Space Station. Watch ground footage from the point of greatest eclipse outside Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Catch the view from 11 international spacecraft. Or watch the eclipse from near-space: NASA Space Grant Consortium volunteers are launching 57 high-altitude balloons across the nation, each with its own Raspberry Pi camera.

NASA expects 100-500 million site hits, so as a backup, you can also catch the balloon webcast here:


200 million Americans live within a day’s drive of totality, so the Great American Eclipse will be all over Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The official hashtag is #eclipse2017.

As soon as the event is over, Eclipse Megamovie will compile everyone’s smartphone footage into a continuous video showing the solar eclipse from start to finish. Watch their replay here:


See what the eclipse looks like on the ground from Denver, Colorado.


Hope this helps and please stay safe!


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