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Solar Eclipse 2017 Facts & Myths

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Solar Eclipse 2017 Facts & Myths

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Elizabeth Zamarripa-Lopez

 

Today’s celestial event will have everybody pondering about the facts, and myths behind the solar eclipse.  At approximately 11:45 a.m. ET., the moon will cover the sun completely. As a result, of this phenomena, this is known as, the “totality stage.”  It has been 38 years since people have witnessed an event of this magnitude.  Scientists urge the public to refrain from looking at the sun prior to reaching the totality state.  One must wear specialized “solar filters,” or “eclipse” eye wear, according to NASA. Otherwise, do not stare upon the eclipse due to permanent, retina eye damage, “solar retinopathy” which may result in blindness.   The solar eclipse will grace its presence predominantly within the Midwest. However, Carbondale, Illinois will be the fortunate location to view the eclipse for a longer duration.  Scientists will have the opportunity to conduct more studies of the sun during this time because the sun’s corona will be more visible, as opposed to other occasions.

Myths surrounding the solar eclipse for many years are that pregnant women must wear metal around their bellies in order to prevent any harm to the fetus. However,  Jay Pasachoff, of the International Astronomical Union states that women who are pregnant should not be concerned, “at a solar eclipse, the sun is merely being covered, so there is less of its light shining…there’s no way that this can affect pregnancy or labor.”   Hence, there is no scientific evidence to support that claim. Therefore, if one feels a bit more at ease to do so, by all means it is the individual’s decision.    Another misconception is that the moon will turn black; however, NASA dispels this controversy, indicating that this part of the phase is merely an “illusion.” As for pets and odd behavior during this event, according to Mother Nature Network, animals will possibly be confused in regards to their routine because they may perceive the event, as “nighttime” during the actual eclipse’s darkness phase. However, once the eclipse is finalized, animals will resume with their daily or nocturnal schedule.

In essence, the only plausible and scientific supported effects of the solar eclipse is permanent eye damage.  Therefore, do not pose a risk to your vision by staring at the sun during the eclipse, prior to the totality stage.  Thus, as a result, of the possible dangers to one’s eyesight, many schools are placing a “rainy day” scheduled type of setting for the remainder of the school day in order to ensure safety for the children.  This is why recess, or P.E. class will not be conducted outdoors.  The solar eclipse’s completion will be over prior to the end of school day.  Overall, the solar eclipse will definitely be an intriguing moment in our history, and within the scientific community.

 

Sources: Hollywood life.com, Mother Nature Network, and NASA

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