Your solar eclipse questions answered - | WBTV Charlotte

Your solar eclipse questions answered

The sun. It will go away Monday. But, don't worry! It will come back - maybe. (Source: Pixabay) The sun. It will go away Monday. But, don't worry! It will come back - maybe. (Source: Pixabay)

(RNN) - Despite a blanket of media coverage, there are still many unanswered questions and myths concerning the upcoming solar eclipse.

Below is a partial list of questions taken from the Facebook comment sections under stories about the impending solar eclipse, and serves as a futile attempt to answer them once and for all, in a mostly serious manner.

If you see any comments under this story asking the very questions answered in this article, please do not answer these questions and direct the questioner to click the link, as our continued business operation depends on it. Please do so in a kind and respectful, yet snarky, way.

And yes, these were actual comments, though some of the grammar has been cleaned up. The comments are in bold.

Did you know there's an eclipse coming?

Yes, we did.

When is the solar eclipse?

This has literally been in every story about the solar eclipse. It is Aug. 21. That is Monday.

The 21st is Tuesday, right?

No. It is Monday.

What time?

It depends on where you are. It will start at 9:05 a.m. Pacific in Oregon and end at 4:10 p.m. Eastern in South Carolina. Check your local listings.

I am busy then. Can we do it another day?

Absolutely. Does April 8, 2024, work for you?

Is it over yet? Sick and tired of hearing about them darn glasses!

It is not over. In fact, it has not even started.

Where will the solar eclipse be?

In the sky. The path of totality, however, is an approximately 70-mile wide strip of the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. A map depicting this has also been in literally every story about the solar eclipse. Here it is again:

You have to wear glasses to see it?

No, but you will ruin your eyes if you don't.

Can you look at it with sunglasses on?

You can, but they don't offer protection.


Nope. Still not safe.

What about through an old negative?

Still not safe.

Why exactly can't you with a naked eye?

Because the sun is bright. Though during the total eclipse, when the sun is 100 percent covered by the moon, it is safe to look with the naked eye. But with even 1 percent of the sun's surface not covered, it is still too bright to look at. (Yes, the sun is THAT bright.)

Why not just use the good old fashion fistoculars??

Because they don't provide protection and you will look stupid.

Is this [pinhole camera] safe to use?

Well, we made an instructional video (using NASA as a source) on constructing a pinhole camera and had a coworker, of whom we have somewhat positive feelings, test out the one we made, and he hasn't gone blind yet. As long as you follow the directions, you should be OK.

This is not safe. I would not suggest to look at the solar eclipse with anything homemade.

Good advice, but this comment was under an instructional video on how to make a pinhole camera, which is safe. Pinhole cameras are safe because you aren't looking at the sun - you are looking at an image of the sun on a piece of paper, which is no different than dropping a piece of paper on the ground on a sunny day and looking at it. In fact, if you look through a properly constructed pinhole camera and point it directly at the sun, you will see nothing. The device only works properly when the sun is behind you.

Or you could use a kitchen colander. The holes at the bottom will act as pinhole cameras. You will get dozens of small crescents in the image. Project the image on a wall or on the ground. Focus it by moving the colander closer to the surface. The holes in the colander must be circular though.

Sounds fascinating. This is unconfirmed, but it should work because the principle is basically the same. Just don't look at the sun through it.

Can't you achieve same thing looking thru viewfinder on 35mm camera?


Or just go to Harbor Freight and buy a cheap welding helmet.

If you have need for a welding helmet for, you know, welding, then this is fine. But do not use it for the eclipse.

Buy a welding lens.

See above.

Just get a welding lens for use in a welding helmet. Trust me. I'm a welder by trade. Can get them at Tractor Supply. That's what me and mine will be using.

Do not do this.

Nah, just buy some welding goggles. As long as it's shade 11 or 12 or darker it's just as safe! That is why you don't see it advertised though - the shading comes in so many not so safe forms they don't want people to risk it! As for me, I am good to go!

You are wrong. This can damage your eyes. NASA explicitly says welding shades of 12 or less are not dark enough, and most welder's filters are less. NASA has a list of verified solar filters, and none of them are welder's glasses.

Where can I get these glasses?

NASA has a list of retailers.

Eyesight is overrated anyway.

That is debatable.

I have a question that maybe someone here can answer. I have an old telescope and I was thinking of pointing it at the eclipse. Before you answer please understand that I know not to look through the telescope at the eclipse. But I was wondering if it would project the image of the eclipse onto a dark surface. Maybe a large poster board or something. Will this work?

With the proper filters and equipment, it can work. But why bother? NASA is planning a live stream of the eclipse that should be more than sufficient and will be available online. And, you are right to not look at the eclipse through the telescope without the proper solar filters.

I read that our area will only see a partial eclipse.

Depending on your area, this may be true.

But where do we find a virgin to sacrifice to get the sun back?

Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. At its maximum, the eclipse is only supposed to last for under three minutes, and the sun should come back after that due to the rotation of the Earth and the moon's orbit. Wait until at least five minutes of darkness before starting to panic. Should one be required, locating a virgin and positively identifying someone as such is an avenue best left unexplored, unless the fate of mankind depends on it. Even then, ritual sacrifice is probably not something you should attempt yourself. Ancient cultures utilized this practice to minimal success and it is highly doubtful modern society would fare any better. Oh, and this is murder, so there's that.


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