Today marks the first time in almost a century that the Total Solar Eclipse will be visible across North American spanning a path of fourteen states from Oregon to South Carolina. This once in a generation phenomenon has everyone from students and space buffs to weather enthusiasts and wonderstruck visitors clamoring for ISO-compliant safe eclipse glasses to capture the spectacle in all its glory. On this fateful day, the moon will surreptitiously slide in front of the sun and, for a moment, ever so brief depending on your viewpoint, the Moon’s shadow will block the Sun’s light turning day to night and back again. The entire event is supposed to last about two and a half hours beginning in our neck-of-the-woods at approximately 9:05 am, peaking at around 10:22 am, and ending around 11:45 am. As you prepare for your eclipse viewing, here are five tips to savor the spectacle and ensure you don’t spoil it for those around you.
1. Keep Eyes Properly Covered. Proper eye coverage is crucial to stay safe and protect your eyes. Only purchase glasses that are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard clearly marked. I waited until the very last minute to find glasses, but everything was sold out. Luckily, our Mayor of Beverly Hills Lili Bosse will be handing out protective eyewear during her Walk with the Mayor this morning at City Hall
2. Clear Away the Distractions. Stay still when observing the eclipse with other people around you. Viewing areas will be packed with throngs of people gazing at the sky alongside scientists conducting experiments. Show respect to all by taking in this experience with peace and quiet.
3. Keep Small Children & Pets in Check. Animals have heightened senses and could have an alarming reaction to the sudden switch from light to darkness. Children may experience behavioral changes as well. If young children are running around, unmonitored, and unruly, it may cause additional mayhem.
4. Silence Truly is Golden. Viewing the eclipse is a sacred experience for many and will be different for everyone. With a duration of fewer than three minutes in total, show respect to all by holding off from making conversation and turning off your cell phone during this time. Even the slightest vibration can create a background noise that can ruin research for those measuring sound. Be mindful of those around you.
5. A Little Patience & Courtesy Will Go a Long Way. If you’re traveling to a viewing destination, follow the rules of the road along with parking instructions. Small annoyances including bumper-to-bumper traffic, road closures, and check points will certainly slow things down. Drive the speed limit and be on the lookout for pedestrians crossing your path. Put on some relaxing music, soak up the scenery and take a deep breath. This most memorable event won’t come around again anytime soon.