Lots of talk about the upcoming “Great American Total Solar Eclipse” on Monday August 21, 2017. People from Oregon to South Carolina are lining up and making plans to place themselves in the “path of totality” for the big event and are hopefully in for an unforgettable experience.
Space.com gives us this reminder: During totality, when the sun’s disk is completely covered by the moon, it is safe to view the eclipse with the naked eye. But sky watchers should NEVER look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection. Looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness. See our complete guide to find out how to view the eclipse safely. – Please follow the rules and stay safe. Don’t let a few minutes of sun gazing ruin your life.
As people flock to the “path of totality” gasoline stations are seeing heavy volume as eclipse watchers are making their travel plans and lining up for their perfect spot in the path. NACS reports that some gasoline retailers had ordered 20% more fuel than for their usual busy holiday weekends while others that didn’t plan ahead are now seeing shortages.
For youngsters this may seem like a first time occurrence which would be far from true. The English word eclipse comes from the Greek ἔκλειψις, ekleípō: disappearance, abandonment. A solar eclipse is the moment in which the sun disappears, abandoning the world. It’s like being forsaken by a god.
The ancient Greeks thought of a solar eclipse as an act of abandonment, a terrible crisis and an existential threat. It meant that the king would fall, that terrible misfortunes would rain down on the world, or that demons had swallowed the sun.
Yet not everyone thought of the eclipse as a horrible threat. For some cultures, the eclipse was an act of creation: The sun and moon were coupling, and would create more stars. For others, it was a random and chaotic act by a trickster or a mischievous boy, causing trouble just for the sake of it.
So wherever you are, seeing full or partial, sporting $.50 paper glasses or a cardboard box, be safe, have fun and listen to a little Eclipse by Pink Floyd while watching the slide show below!
Getty Images, NACS Online