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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Be safe while viewing the partial solar eclipse


Above / Back on August 21, 2017, folks in protective glasses gathered along the Riverwalk and throughout downtown Naperville to view the partial solar eclipse. (PN File Photo)

Consider a pun that came our way via a Cliff note:

Young Man: Hey, Dad! Do you know what the total solar eclipse is all about on April 8, 2024?

Dad: No, son.

More than likely, by now you’re thinking another precautionary bit in advance of viewing the solar eclipse is more than you care to read.

For about six months, we’ve been bombarded with ways to promote this rarity that will occur here in Naperville about 1:30PM Mon., April 8. Fact is, less than one percent of the world’s population will get to see the 2024 total solar eclipse that will pass through North America on Monday.

That said, just as PN was finishing up its April issue, the Red Cross released a story with plenty of safety advice for the tens of millions of people who live in the path of totality and other folks likely to flock there to get a glimpse, which will lead to very congested roadways.

According to the Red Cross news release, areas of Illinois that could receive the largest number of travelers include Carbondale, Mt. Vernon, Effingham and much of the southern tip of the state. 

The Illinois Department of Transportation is asking all residents to be prepared for heavy traffic on rural roads and highways in the hours leading up to the eclipse and especially after the eclipse.

Drivers are advised not stop alongside the road or highway expecting a perfect view of the eclipse.

Lessons learned back in August 2017

Additionally, remember to wear proper eclipse viewing sunglasses to safely see the eclipse. Remember that looking directly at the sun is unsafe. NASA recommends eclipse eyewear with an IOS compliance label, or standard, of 12312-2.  

Back in 2017, Charlotte Coyne and her dad, Kevin Coyne, watched the eclipse from Webster Street at Aurora Avenue. (PN File Photo)

Eclipse viewing glasses are many times more effective at keeping your eyes safe compared to regular sunglasses, eye specialists say.

Nicki Anderson viewed the 2017 crescent shape of the partial solar eclipse from the Riverwalk. (PN File Photo)

Back in 2017, an ordinary kitchen colander was used to view a solar eclipse in the same way as other projector viewers; the colander’s circular holes project crescent images of the sun onto the ground.

On our back deck, the tiny holes in a colander projected the crescent shape during the solar eclipse.

Anyone who is able to experience totality on Monday will see what’s called “diamond rings” and “Baily’s beads.” According to NASA, “the Baily’s Beads effect is seen as the Moon makes its final move over the Sun during the total solar eclipse.”

Factoids from Lattice Publishing highlight key stats for Illinois

  • The most recent total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. took place in 2017, with the path of totality extending from Oregon to South Carolina. Prior to 2017, only two solar eclipses in the 20th century had totality paths that overlapped some portion of the United States.
  • Looking ahead, the next coast-to-coast total solar eclipse won’t occur until 2045.
  • Illinois is one of 15 U.S. states that will experience a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
  • An estimated 593,000 Illinois residents (or 4.7% of the total population) live in the totality path.
  • Illinois has the 6th most total residents of any state living in the totality path.

Make your own pinhole viewing box

The video below includes instructions to create your own viewing box from a cereal box, just as this couple did back in 2017. (PN File Photo)

One last thing before Monday’s total solar eclipse is to have fun, relish being part of an historic event and be sure to take proper precautions in protecting your eyes. Never look directly at the eclipse.

Partial Solar Eclipse / 12:50PM to 3:22PM

Experts suggest experiencing the 2024 partial solar eclipse here in Naperville will be memorable beginning around 12:50PM, with the maximum eclipse hitting around 2:06PM. The partial solar eclipse is expected to end around 3:22PM.

And take note that the next American total solar eclipse will happen Aug. 23, 2044.

Boiler Up!

Yet for PN, the true highlight of the day will begin at 8:20PM with the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game when the Purdue Boilermakers meet the UConn Huskies. The pair of No. 1 seeds will match up for the national title on Monday night after dominating college basketball all season long. Watch it live on TBS.

Will it be another rare national phenomenon, eclipsing the season?

Thanks for reading! —PN

Editor’s UpdateMarch Madness is over. And the champion shines on April 8. Who’d have thought all those “one shining moments” would end on the day of the 2024 Solar Eclipse? UConn 75 to Purdue 60.

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.


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