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Weather Wise: Watching the Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse Viewing
Posted at 4:39 PM, Oct 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-10 18:21:42-04

A rare solar eclipse can be witnessed in most of the United States this Saturday. That being said, if you want to witness the celestial event you need to be careful not to damage your eyes.

On Saturday, October 14, the moon will pass in front of the sun creating a solar eclipse. A rare ring of fire will be visible in a 125-mile wide path from Oregon to Texas, and then ultimately across 10 countries. Here in Montana, about 60% to 70% of the sun's disk will be blocked by the moon. The eclipse will be shortly after 9 a.m., reaching a maximum around 10:26 a.m., and ending just before noon.

No matter what, never look at the eclipsed sun with the naked eye. To safely view the eclipse, you must have special solar glasses. If you're looking for a pair, perhaps check out the Helena Astronomical Society's Facebook page, where these glasses are being sold for just $2. A welding mask with a shade level 14 will also do the trick.

If you're unable to secure these items, there are a few tricks. Do you have a colander? Bring that outside, hold it up and look at the ground or a wall where the sunlight travels through. the holes will project the eclipsed sun many, many times over. Using a tree with leaves will also work. do not look at the sun through the leaves, rather look at the ground where the sunlight travels through the leaves. This works just like the colander. A pinpoint projector can easily be made with two paper plates or pieces of cardboard. Pop a hole through one of the pieces allowing light to travel through to the other piece. Even making a lattice shape with your two hands can work.