What you need to know before viewing the solar eclipse - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

What you need to know before viewing the solar eclipse

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

The much anticipated solar eclipse is on August 21 – are you prepared? NASA has a few tips you should know.

Everyone knows not to look at the sun but did you know you can actually look at the sun during a solar eclipse – wearing special solar eclipse glasses of course. Solar eclipse glasses can be bought online and at several different retailers but make sure the ones you buy have the ISO 12312-2. 

If the day comes and you forget your glasses what can you do? Well just stand with your back to the sun and make a waffle pattern with your hands. You'll be able to see a shadow on the ground through your hands of the eclipse. 

If you prefer to take pictures of the eclipse you'll want to make sure you have a special solar filter on your camera. If not, the sun's powerful rays will fry your camera.

"Something specifically for the eclipse that is good to know is a normal ND (or neutral density) filter does not do the trick for it. It's still dangerous to shoot the sun with those," Bryce Turcotte, lead graphic designer and photographer at Outward Media Group, said. "They block the white light but they don't black the UV light and infrared light that is damaging. It's kinda a common misconception that you can use just a neutral density filter to block the light, but it's not really doing much to help if you're shooting directly into the sun."

NASA also says don't use those solar glasses with cameras either. The solar rays will enter the camera and strengthen, heading straight through your solar glasses and damaging your eyes. 

If you're headed to a city within the path of totality be prepared for extremely crowded roadways on the trip there and back, along with cell service issues. Cell phone companies warn of service issues due to the larger numbers of people within the path of totality, so make sure you have a family plan of action for where you should meet should someone get lost. 

Use these tips to prepare you and your family for this life-changing event.  
 

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