What not to do during the total solar eclipse on April 8th, 2024


The total solar eclipse is on April 8th, and millions of people from Texas to Maine preparing for the once-in-a-lifetime event will want to ensure they enjoy it safely.

A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, completely blocking the Sun’s face for up to several minutes.

Here are some things you don’t want to do during the eclipse.

HOW TO SAFELY WATCH A SOLAR ECLIPSE

Do not look directly at the Sun

Except for the lucky people in the path of totality, it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without the proper eye protection – and sunglasses won’t cut it.

To safely view the total solar eclipse in 2024, you’ll need glasses with solar filters, also known as “eclipse glasses,” or with handheld solar viewers. According to the American Astronomical Society, those glasses or handheld solar viewers need to meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for direct Sun viewing.

Only when the Sun is covered completely will it be safe to remove eclipse glasses, and they must go back on before the partial eclipse resumes and portions of the Sun become visible again. Even if clouds obstruct your view during the April 8 total solar eclipse, special glasses or handheld viewers still need to be used. Cloud cover is not enough to protect your eyesight from the Sun’s rays.

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NASA said it is imperative that people do not look at the Sun through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer because the concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter and will cause a serious eye injury.

If you find yourself driving during the eclipse, do not wear eclipse glasses. Instead, pull your car’s visor down to block out the Sun.

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Solar eclipse travel could be treacherous

For those living in the narrow path of totality, little, if any, travel will be necessary to take in the full astronomical event.

However, people from across the U.S., and likely the world, will descend upon communities that aren’t used to the popularity, and that has officials concerned.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT APRIL’S TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE

So much so that several cities and towns have issued disaster declarations or declared states of emergency, while others decided to close schools due to the expected increase in traffic and to keep kids safe from distracted drivers during dismissal time.

In a letter sent to parents of students enrolled in Livingston Public Schools in New Jersey, Superintendent Matthew J. Block said they made the decision to dismiss early on April 8th due to safety concerns after consulting with the district physician.

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Do not drive and try to watch the eclipse

One of the most important things you shouldn’t do is try to watch the solar eclipse while driving. Also, don’t take photos or record videos of the eclipse while driving. Instead, find a safe spot to park and watch the eclipse.

WHO WILL BE ABLE TO SEE THE APRIL 2024 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE?

Traffic could be a nightmare, especially in more heavily populated areas within the path of totality, such as Dallas in Texas, Little Rock in Arkansas, Paducah in Kentucky, Cleveland in Ohio, and Buffalo in New York, to name a few.

New York State Police said they are working closely with communities in the path of totality and are warning people to prepare for an increase in traffic. NYSP said patrol coverage in areas in the path of totality will be enhanced, and additional troopers will be deployed to focus on roadways that will likely be impacted.

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“Motorists who must travel in areas impacted by the eclipse are asked to allow for extra travel time to ensure a careful drive to their destination as we do anticipate large volumes of traffic,” NYSP said in a news release. “We also remind the public to watch the eclipse from designated viewing areas and to avoid stopping on controlled access highways unless there is an emergency.”

If the weather doesn’t cooperate in cities within the path of totality, traffic could end up being worse, with people trying to get onto roads and highways to find better eclipse viewing conditions.



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