Home Living Extension Update from Megan Burda: Solar Eclipse Prep

Extension Update from Megan Burda: Solar Eclipse Prep

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Solar Eclipse Prep

Last week, a few of us stopped down at the York Chamber of Commerce office to pick up our viewing glasses for the Solar Eclipse. Have you pick up yours yet? Over 200 Nebraska communities (including York) fall within path of totality, or the path of the shadow where observers will see the moon completely over the sun for roughly two and a half minutes.  During the total solar eclipse, on August 21, the moon’s umbral shadow will fly across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina, in a little over 90 minutes. This is the first eclipse through the contiguous United States since 1979, according to NASA records.

In response to this rare and unique opportunity, Nebraska Extension and Raising Nebraska are partnering with the Hastings Museum to offer solar eclipse training for teachers and youth professionals in advance of the total solar eclipse. The training will provide participants with eclipse resources and lesson plans they can use in their classroom, after-school setting or organization.

The total solar eclipse is a remarkable phenomenon that not many have had the opportunity to witness. Nebraska’s wide open spaces will be one of the best places to view the eclipse so we want to help youth professionals capitalize on this exciting teaching opportunity. The training will educate participants on exactly what the eclipse is and how they can take lessons from concept to application. The curriculum will also be applicable beyond the Aug. 21 event, covering topics such as nocturnal animals, how sundials work and why sunlight is critical for plants.

All trainings are free to attend and will be held from 2 – 4 p.m. Training dates and locations are:

  • June 1: Raising Nebraska, Nebraska State Fairgrounds, 501 E. Fonner Park Rd., Grand Island
  • June 15: Hastings Museum, 1330 N. Burlington Ave., Hastings
  • June 18: Raising Nebraska
  • July 27: Training via Zoom video conference

To register for the June 15 training at the Hastings museum, please call 402-461-2339. To register for all other trainings, visit go.unl.edu/solareclipse. Space is limited.

For more information contact Beth Janning, Science and Agriculture in Action Educator at Raising Nebraska at 308-385-3967 or raisingnebraska@unl.edu.  Raising Nebraska is a joint effort of Nebraska Extension within the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska State Fair.

Safely Viewing the Eclipse

It is important to note that it is unsafe to directly look at the sun, except the short period (totality) when the moon entirely blocks the sun. There are special glasses that must be used in order to prevent damage to one’s eyes. Special-purpose solar filters allow one to safely view the sun. Even very dark sunglasses are not safe. To date solar viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standards. Always inspect your solar filters before use. If they are scratched or damaged, discard it. Be sure to read and follow directions printed on the package or label and supervise children using solar filters. Other tips provided by NASA include standing still and covering your eyes with the eclipse glasses before looking at the bright sun. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter – do not remove it while looking at the sun.

Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.  If you are in the path of total eclipse, remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to glance at the remaining partial phases.

More information can be found on NASA’S website at eclipse2017.nasa.gov.

Upcoming Events
Drive 4 UR Community Event
Saturday, June 3, 2017
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fairgrounds

Janssen Ford of York is hosting a fundraising event for York County 4-H.

Come out to the Lively Livestock Show and test drive a Ford vehicle (with no obligation to buy). For every person that drives a vehicle, York County 4-H will receive a $20 donation from Ford.

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