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LCS Plans for the Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

posted Aug 14, 2017, 5:56 PM by LAVERNE ROME
August 21, 2017, a total eclipse will shadow a seventy mile-wide path through fourteen states, beginning in Oregon and exiting the Charleston, South Carolina coast.  For Georgians, the range of view is one hundred percent in the northeast corner of the state to ninety percent partial view in the majority of the state.  The entire event will touch the U.S. at maximum strength for one hour, thirty-three minutes.  The partial eclipse will pass by Lowndes County starting at 1:11 pm, reaching maximum eclipse at 2:43 pm and completely fading from view by 4:08 pm.

The timing of the eclipse will coincide with dismissal time for our elementary students.  The safety of our students is a priority in the Lowndes County School System, and we considered various options surrounding the solar eclipse.  As a precautionary measure we will dismiss school early on Monday, 8/21/17 at the following times:

Elementary Schools:  1st Load – 11:30 am -  2nd Load – 12:00 pm
Middle Schools – 12:30 pm
Lowndes High School & Parker Mathis Learning Center – 12:00 pm

We recognize the historical significance of the event and the days leading up to the eclipse will present multiple learning opportunities for our students including safety information.

To prevent eye damage, no one should look directly at the eclipse.  NASA has a website devoted to eclipse information which includes various educational tools located at  

Solar Viewing Safety Tips from the American Astronomical Society and NASA

1. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters (“eclipse glasses” or handheld viewers) that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products.  

2. Ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the Sun.  Neither are homemade filters created from neutral density filters (such as those made for camera lenses, smoked glass, exposed film, “space blankets,” potato chip bags, DVDs, and any other materials you may have heard about for solar viewing.

3. Seek expert advice before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.

4. Never look at the Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer.

5. A solar filter must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, or camera lens.

6. If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the Sun’s bright face, and it suddenly gets quite dark.  Experience the splendor of totality.  Then, as soon as the bright Sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to glance at the remaining partial phases.

7. If you are outside the path of totality, you must always use safe solar filters to view the Sun directly.

(These Solar Viewing Safety Tips were presented at the January 2017 American Astronomical Society Meeting.)