Be solar eclipse ready: How to photograph it, safely

Hindu holy men watch through specially designed viewing glasses in Allahabad India in 2009

While many people want a good, tight shot of the eclipse, keep a bigger picture in mind.

So what do you need to safely photograph the Aug 21 eclipse?

"I'm a lifelong learner, and it's something interesting and something that's happening now".

"I'm not really sure if we have a forecast model or if we'll have to make manual adjustments", said Mike Bardou, a National Weather Service meteorologist. While many have already made preparations for the event, here are some facts about the upcoming eclipse. During a lunar eclipse, the Earth comes between the moon and the sun and the Earth's shadow falls on the moon, causing the moon to look red. Eventually, scientists like Sir Arthur Eddington, whose observations of deflected starlight during a 1919 solar eclipse confirmed Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, considered the rare celestial events as prime opportunities to learn more about the solar system and beyond. There are two parts to this shadow, an outer shadow that covers a wide region creating a particle eclipse, (penumbra) and a much smaller central shadow that creates the total eclipse (umbra).

Staring at the sun without proper filtration, even when it is partially obscured by the moon during an eclipse, can damage or destroy photo-receptor cells of the eye's retina, leaving blind spots in a person's field of vision, experts said. The last time a total solar eclipse touched only the USA was in 1257 (of course, the U.S as a country didn't yet exist) and it won't happen again until 2316. K Brew will also give a pair of glasses with the purchase of its "Iced Eclipse Tonic".

Sedlacek is traveling with friends to southern Kentucky, along the Tennessee border, to capture the eclipse in its totality. In Flagstaff, up to 70 percent of the Sun will be blocked. What you see will vary greatly depending on your location. The sun will reach its maximum coverage about 1:20 p.m. and stay that way for nearly three minutes.

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Floating in the European Columbus laboratory module, Bresnik showed off a solar filter shipped up to the station earlier, saying "we've got specially equipped cameras that'll have these solar filters on them that allow us to take pictures of the sun". "In our area, it is not going to be completely covered; a sliver of the sun will still be showing; normal sunglasses will not be enough". The sun is so bright that we squint, our eyes tear up, and we look away. You can buy the glasses online - the cardboard-frame versions cost just a few dollars - but check the American Astronomical Society's list of reputable vendors first. A stamp inside the glasses will read "ISO".

Another method is to make a simple pinhole projector. Do not remove them while looking at the sun.

There are alternative methods to indirectly view the partially eclipsed sun.

Scammers have taken advantage of the hype surrounding the eclipse and released fake protective glasses, according to the Better Business Bureau.

To help the community safely view the August 21 eclipse, Yorkshire Eye Clinic is giving away free eclipse glasses on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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