Rad moon rising
Six observations on watching the sky (safely) during the solar eclipse
Safety: Protect your eyes
Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse, when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face. That occurs only within the narrow path of totality. The safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Sunglasses won't cut it, nor will just taking a quick peek. Be safe, don't damage your eyes. Follow the safety instructions on the NASA website.
In the Path of Totality
On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. The path of totality, where the moon will completely obscure the sun, will stretch from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse as the moon covers part of the sun's disk. This is the first solar eclipse to move across the entire continental U.S. since 1918. To find out when to view the eclipse and see where you are in relation to the path of totality, check out this interactive map or this printable map, both from NASA.
The Earth During an Eclipse
The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite collects and distributes remotely sensed land, ocean, and atmospheric data to various meteorological communities. Operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, SNPP orbits Earth about 14 times each day and observes nearly the entire surface. The SNPP satellite will transmit data about the environmental effects of the eclipse on Earth. Raytheon's Joint Polar Satellite System’s Common Ground System provides all of SNPP's mission planning, command and control, and data processing.
Night and Day in HD
During the eclipse, SNPP will fly over Missouri, providing pictures of the eclipse’s shadow using Raytheon's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, which may be able to capture lights in U.S. cities. The images will be available to the public about three hours later. Besides providing meteorologists highly detailed information for forecasting and emerging global storm patterns, VIIRS generates high-fidelity sea, land and atmospheric data for a variety of other applied products, including monitoring of wildfires, drought, flooding, vegetation health, algal blooms and nighttime phenomena.
avoiding a rainout
Raytheon's Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System provides meteorologists at more than 140 National Weather Service offices across the nation the information they need to make increasingly accurate weather predictions and to dispense rapid, highly reliable warnings and advisories. AWIPS will also help weather forecasters better predict where cloudy skies might prevent viewing the eclipse, especially along the path of totality. The National Weather Service will use this data on a website to help the public better plan trips for viewing. NOAA also published a map showing the chances of viewing the total solar eclipse, based on historical cloudiness data.
Satellite that Snaps Eclipse Pics
Polar satellites take predictable paths. This image above depicts the path of the NOAA-owned, NASA-operated SNPP satellite as it passes over the southeastern United States on August 21 during the solar eclipse. The blue rectangle represents Raytheon’s VIIRS view over the area during the eclipse, which provides the unique chance to measure differences between daytime and nighttime observations simultaneously. SNPP orbits the Earth 14 times a day and produces an image of the Earth twice a day.
Last Updated: 08/14/2017