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Solar Eclipse Resources for Rutgers Community

August 17, 2017
solar eclipse resources graphic

Next Monday's solar eclipse should be pretty impressive for large swathes of the country, including across New Jersey. The last solar eclipse in North America took place in the late 70's and was only viewable in the northwest corner of the country. By contrast, next week’s eclipse will be viewable from most of the continental United States, with a narrow band extending from Oregon to South Carolina seeing a total eclipse. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many people—in fact, some estimates place the odds of seeing a complete eclipse where you live at once every 375 years.

Here in New Jersey, we won’t see a total eclipse, but we should see between 70 and 80% coverage of the sun. Here are some tips and resources to make sure you don’t miss the fun and stay safe!


General Information about the Eclipse:

NASA’s Eclipse Information: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

Great American Eclipse: https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/


Where and When to Watch:

  • Check your location. This collection of maps assembled by space.com will help you find the best place from which to view the eclipse. Vox has a site where you can enter your zip code and get information specific for your town.
  • For those of you in the New Brunswick area, the student-led Rutgers Astronomical Society is hosting a viewing at the Robert A. Schommer Astronomical Observatory on Busch campus. The event will start at 1:20 p.m. and end at 4 p.m.
  • Additional eclipse viewing parties are happening all across New Jersey.
  • For Rutgers campuses in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick, this is the current information regarding the time and altitude:

Camden:

Lat.: 39.9266° N

Long.: 75.1149° W

Partial Solar Eclipse

Magnitude: 0.799

Obscuration: 75.30%

Event

Date

Time (UT)

Alt

Azi

Start of partial eclipse (C1) : 

2017/08/21

17:21:21.9

61.7°

189.2°

Maximum eclipse : 

2017/08/21

18:44:26.2

54.2°

225.5°

End of partial eclipse (C4) : 

2017/08/21

20:01:25.5

41.8°

247.0°

 

Newark:

Lat.: 40.7327° N

Long.: 74.1824° W

Partial Solar Eclipse

Magnitude: 0.771

Obscuration: 71.73%

Event

Date

Time (UT)

Alt

Azi

Start of partial eclipse (C1) : 

2017/08/21

17:22:51.6

60.7°

191.6°

Maximum eclipse : 

2017/08/21

18:44:40.7

53.1°

226.0°

End of partial eclipse (C4) : 

2017/08/21

20:00:33.0

41.0°

247.0°

 

New Brunswick:

Lat.: 40.484° N

Long.: 74.453° W

Partial Solar Eclipse

Magnitude: 0.78

Obscuration: 72.80%

Event

Date

Time (UT)

Alt

Azi

Start of partial eclipse (C1) : 

2017/08/21

17:22:26.1

61.0°

190.9°

Maximum eclipse : 

2017/08/21

18:44:38.1

53.4°

225.9°

End of partial eclipse (C4) : 

2017/08/21

20:00:50.6

41.3°

247.0°

[source: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/interactive_map/index.html]


Safety Tips for Viewing the Eclipse:

It is unsafe to view the eclipse without eye protection. In New Jersey, you will need eye protection for the duration of the eclipse. If you plan to photograph the eclipse, you will also need protection for your camera—whether it is a DSLR camera or a mobile device, the sun can easily damage your device.

NASA has a site with information about How to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse Safely that includes a list of reputable vendors of solar filters and viewers.

Rumor has it that the Rutgers Credit Union has a supply of ISO-approved eclipse glasses available to credit union members. Check in with them to make sure they still have stock.

The National Eye Institute has also put out some guidelines for keeping your eyes safe during the eclipse.

Things to keep in mind, according to CNN:

  • An eclipse can blind you and you may not feel it, because the part of your eye that is damaged by the sun doesn’t have pain receptors.
  • Sunglasses and other safety glasses do not provide adequate protection. Eclipse glasses are 100,000 times darker than standard sunglasses and should be certified as compliant with ISO 12312-2.
  • Not all eclipse glasses are equally protective. Eclipse glasses that are more than three years old can still cause retina damage because they were not manufactured to be compliant with ISO 12312-2. Check your current glasses to make sure there are no chips or cracks—anything that could let even a small amount of light in.
  • You can sustain eye damage if you use binoculars, cameras (even smartphone cameras), telescopes, or other optical devices without some form of eclipse protection.

There have been reports that some eclipse glasses sold on Amazon may be defective. Amazon has emailed all customers who purchased defective glasses, but you can learn more about this recall in the Star Ledger. CNN has some tips on how to determine if your glasses are safe or fake.


Enjoying the Eclipse:


Library Resources for Enjoying the Eclipse

The librarians at Southern Illinois University have put together a definitive libguide for the eclipse: http://libguides.lib.siu.edu/solareclipse. SIU has become a hot spot for the eclipse—they are renting out dorms and space at the student rec center and expect 100,000-200,000 visitors to join them next week.

Here at Rutgers, we have a couple of book recommendations to help maximize your eclipse experience, whether you are staying close to home or traveling south. These are both available as full text, ebooks to the Rutgers community:


Have another great resource or tip for viewing the eclipse? Send it to the communications department and we'll include it here.