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Montgomery County issues statement regarding August 21 solar eclipse

HILLSBORO (Heartland Newsfeed) — Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency (MCEMA) director Greg Nimmo informs residents of Montgomery County to take safety precautions should they choose to view the solar eclipse on August 21, which is scheduled to be partially viewable, roughly 90%, in the area between 11:00 a.m. and 1:28 p.m. that day.

(Photo courtesy of Space.com)

Nimmo stated on Monday that the eclipse will be partially visible in every state. A total solar eclipse, which is when the moon completely covers the sun, will occur across 14 states in the continental U.S. along a 70-mile wide swath of the country, which includes southern Illinois and the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Nimmo states that it is common sense to not directly stare at the sun with your naked eyes and risk damaging your vision. That advice holds true for a partial eclipse as well.

With special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can safely look directly at the sun.  Nimmo said that NASA recommends that people who plan to view the eclipse should check the safety authenticity of viewing glasses to ensure they meet basic proper safety viewing standards.  Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the following criteria:

  • Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
  • Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
  • Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
  • Not use homemade filters
  • Ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones — should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers

“It’s our duty to inform the public about safe ways to view what should be a spectacular sky show for the entire continental United States,” said Nimmo. “It’s important that individuals take the responsibility to check they have the proper solar eclipse viewing glasses. With the eclipse a month away today, it’s prudent to practice ahead of time.”

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially-eclipsed Sun is with a pinhole projector. With this method, sunlight streams through a small hole – such as a pencil hole in a piece of paper, or even the space between your fingers – onto a makeshift screen, such as a piece of paper or the ground. It’s important to only watch the screen, not the Sun. Never look at the Sun through the pinhole — it is not safe.   For additional solar eclipse safety information, visit the NASA website at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.

Nimmo said that many county libraries are distributing safety-certified glasses through a NASA library program and encourages residents to contact their local library for more information. He also stated that those travelling to be closer to the full solar eclipse area in southern Illinois and Missouri should be aware of potential traffic concerns as they travel and leave early to get to their destination, with up to 370,000 people travelling to be in the full solar eclipse area in Carbondale, Illinois predicted.

Those seeking more information about the August 21 solar eclipse may go to the NASA website at https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive and access an interactive map of the eclipse path at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/interactive_map/index.html.

About the Author

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- Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed and general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks. He is an active contributor to the Nokomis Free Press-Progress in Nokomis, IL. He currently serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party, as deputy communications director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman and co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus. He has also been politically active since 2015, having run for city council, state representative, school board and is currently running for state senator for the 2018 election season.

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Montgomery County issues statement regarding August 21 solar eclipse