Cody prepares for a big crowd of eclipse watchers - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Cody prepares for a big crowd of eclipse watchers

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Although the northwest Wyoming town is not in the “path of totality," tourism promoters said most of the sun will be covered. But, no one there will be able to view the eclipse without eye protection.

Grand Teton National Park is where the serious eclipse watchers will be on Monday, August 21st. Grand Teton, Jackson, Dubois, Riverton, Casper, Douglas and Glendo are in the path of totality. That means people there can look at the eclipse only when the sun is completely covered by the moon.

Astronomy Educator Larry Sessions explained, “During the brief two and a half minutes of totality, it’s safe to look, but at any other time you shouldn’t be looking at it directly.”

Sessions came from Colorado, to tell people at a museum lecture in Cody about the upcoming eclipse, and how to view it. He told a packed audience they’ll have to avoid looking directly at the eclipse, or even aiming their camera at it.

He remarked, “If it’s even one percent not total, then there’s some forms of radiation from the sun that could do harm to your eyes.”

Cody Chamber Visitor Services Manager Lisa Constantine said, “In Cody, we will get about 95%, which is still considered a partial eclipse.”

The Cody Chamber of Commerce suggests eclipse watchers come to the City Park, Beck Lake on the southern edge of the city, or the Buffalo Bill State Park, to the west.

No matter where you go here, Constantine said, “You have to keep your protective viewing glasses on the entire time you are looking at the sun directly.”

The Chamber ordered 2500 pair of eclipse viewing glasses.

Constantine said, “We have sold out.”

Sessions warned, “And you can also get some online and various other places that they’re fake. They won’t protect you properly.”

He suggested you should go to a reputable place to buy the glasses, like a museum. But, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, in Cody, has sold out of the glasses, too.

Sessions said you can also use a small mirror to reflect the image.

He explained, “And angle that mirror such that the sunlight comes through and hits it and pushes it through a window into a darkened room.”

Sessions said that on average a total eclipse comes to the same place every 300 years. However, the next total eclipse in the United States will happen seven years from now. 

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