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How to Enjoy the Solar Eclipse Safely with Your Family
August 17, 2017
Where to get free eclipse glasses and how to watch the event safely from Chicago."
They're calling it the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, and while Chicago doesn't lie directly in the path of "totality," the sky will get ever-so-slightly darker here between noon and 2:30 p.m. on Monday, August 21, as the moon blocks about 86% of the sun from our vantage point. That hasn't happened in the contiguous United States since 1979, and it won't happen again until 2024.
Obviously, you don't want to miss it! Here's a guide to viewing the eclipse safely with your family.
As we mentioned above, the moon won't completely block the sun from our viewpoint here in Chicagoland. That means no one (not you, not your children) should look directly toward the sun, even during the height of the eclipse. Doing so can lead to permanent eye damage, and even blindness.
The best way to watch the eclipse safely is with a pair of specially designed eclipse glasses. The Adler Planetarium is giving them away for free this week at the following locations:
Daley Plaza: Thursday, August 17, 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
South Grant Park: Thursday, August 17, 2-8 p.m.
Lagunitas Brewing Company: Friday, August 18, 12:30-6:30pm
Adler Planetarium: August 21, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Don't try to take a photo of the sun. Your phone or camera won't be able to handle a direct image of it, anyway (it'll just look like a glare), and it's dangerous to look toward the sun to place it in your viewfinder. There will be millions of professional photos to browse after the event. Just enjoy the experience and stay in the moment.
If you want to see the total eclipse of the sun, head to Carbondale, Illinois, a five-hour drive south. That's where NASA will be streaming a live feed during the Midwest's largest eclipse celebration.