Solar Eclipse: Safety and Fun


You may have heard that on Monday August 21st, 2017 the Continental United States is going to experience a solar eclipse. Only the whole country is talking about it! This is the first total solar eclipse for the United States since 1918! In Central Florida, we will experience an 88% eclipse, which is still pretty cool! It is definitely an event you do not want to miss. Before you step outside, here is some solar eclipse safety and fun facts!

Eclipse timeline

Solar Eclipse Timeline

The timeline for the eclipse in Orlando, FL on Mon, Aug 21, 2017
Begins:  at 1:19 pm
Maximum:  at 2:51 pm 88% Magnitude
Ends:  at 4:14 pm
Duration:  2 hours, 55 minutes

To get the time for your city, click here and enter your city’s information!

Safety First

A solar eclipse should never be viewed with the naked eye or with regular sunglasses. The light rays, UV and UVA rays are much to strong for our eyes even with sunglasses on. You can sustain damage to your retina if you look at the eclipse even a glimpse has the potential to cause damage to your retina. In an eclipse light will become dim, almost dusk like, tricking our eyes and brains into thinking its okay to look up at the sun. However, the rays coming around the moon are much to bright for our eyes. There are no pain receptors in our retinas and our due to the dim light overall our brain receptors do not recognize the danger that is present. No worries though, there are safe ways to view the eclipse!

The following tips and tools are a MUST for safe solar eclipse viewing:

Many of our children will be getting out of school around the time of the eclipse (maximum coverage for our area is around 2:51pm). Please make sure you discuss with the safety procedures and the importance of not looking directly at the eclipse. OCPS is excusing any children from school that day (with a written note) if you would like to keep your child home or check them out early, check with your district to see what their policy is!

Viewing with “Eclipse Glasses”

Eclipse glasses are becoming difficult to find, however if you can purchase (or pick up a free pair) of ISO 12312-2 glasses, be sure that are designed specifically for viewing solar eclipses! There are businesses handing these out for free, like Florida Centra Cares. Other places like Walmart and Lowes have them for sale. Make sure that the glasses you purchase are specifically rated ISO 12312-2, they will be labeled with this number. Here is more info from NASA, and additional safety info for viewing. 

Make a pinhole camera

This is a fun way to view the eclipse and a fun easy craft to do with your child. You can safely view the eclipse with this tool!

This link provides instructions and the materials you will need to make your own pinhole camera!

View Online

NASA will have a live feed of the eclipse on their TV station and via a live internet feed. You can view the live feed here.

Eclipse Viewing Parties around Orlando

Attend a viewing event! Many locations such as The Kennedy Space Center, The Orlando Science Center, The Dr. Phillips Preforming Arts Center, and The University of Central Florida are having solar eclipse viewing events. You can find out all the latest viewing events here.

Make sure you share your pictures with us of how you are getting ready for the solar eclipse! Luckily we will not have to wait another 99 years until the next solar eclipse! In 2024 we will get to experience this again, so save those glasses!! Happy viewing!

solar eclipse

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