It’s coming and DeKalb County residents will be among the fortunate who can view the eclipse of the sun in its totality.
On August 21, all of North America will see an eclipse of the sun, but only those within a certain path can see it in its totality.
The totality path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s atmosphere (the corona) will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. DeKalb and a portion of Middle Tennessee is inside that path.
Those outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk.
For this eclipse, the first in the contiguous U.S. since 1979, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds.
In Smithville, the partial phase will start about noon with a total eclipse around 1:29 p.m. The duration of totality is expected to be 2 minutes 32 seconds. Times are similar for Alexandria, Liberty and Dowelltown. The longest duration in this area is estimated to be another 8 seconds at Gordonsville.
Many communities and businesses throughout the country are planning special “viewing events” but a safety alert comes with the viewing of the eclipse.
Looking directly at the Sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the Moon entirely blocks the Sun’s bright face.
NASA has recommended people who plan to view the solar eclipse to check the safety authenticity of viewing glasses to ensure they meet safety standards.
Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the criteria such as certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard and have the manufacturer’s name and address printed on the product.