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On August 21, 2017, the public will be able to take part in what is now known as the ‘Great American Eclipse’. However, all those looking to make the most of this event will have to wear special protection glasses.
For this, public libraries from across the United States will be distributing over two million pairs of eclipse glasses for free. These will be provided by an outreach program initiated by the SSI or the Space Science Institute.
Eclipse Glasses: A Must During the Solar Eclipse
The Great American Eclipse will be passing over the nation along a path spanning from Oregon to South Carolina. This will include a ‘path of totality’ some 70 miles wide. Those inside it will be able to see the Moon as it passes in front of the Sun and basically creates a total solar eclipse. Viewers outside of this area will still see the event, but only as a partial solar eclipse.
All the people that will be watching both the total and partial solar eclipse have to wear special eyewear protection gear. Looking directly at the sun during such events can cause severe damage to the eyes.
As part of a project to protect against such outcomes, around 4,800 library organizations from across the United States will be offering free eclipse glasses.
These are all part of an outreach project developed by the SSI and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. NASA, Google, and the NSF (National Science Foundation) are also partners in the project, according to an SSI statement.
“The Moore Foundation is pleased to help 2 million eyes enjoy and understand this astronomical spectacle with astronomical spectacles,” stated Dr. Robert Kirshner.
He is the chief program officer for science part of the Moore Foundation. Besides the free eclipse glasses, all the registered organizations will be receiving an informational booklet. This is generally available and ready for download for all those interested. The booklet offers safe viewing techniques, locations and times for viewing events, and also public-outreach programs on the matter.
Image Source: Wikimedia