Day of the Eclipse Arrives

posted by Alan McBride - 

Today, a total Solar Eclipse will be visible through the United States, with people in Florida getting the chance to see a minimum of 78 percent coverage of the solar disc at the height of the event.

Eclipse viewing parties have sprung up just about everywhere, just do a quick 'Google' search to find one close to you.

But, for the eclipse fan who wants to enjoy the event at a historic site, and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is standing ready.

The Visitor Complex viewing event will take place from 11:00 am - 4:30 pm in the Rocket Garden. 

The center says it will provide one complimentary pair of certified eclipse viewing glasses per family at the start of the event on a first come, first served basis, as there is a limited amount. 

JD Bartoe, the Astronaut of the Day, will be on site to engage with viewers, answer questions and offer commentary between 2:00 pm and 3:30 pm.

Eclipse visibility begins around 1:15 pm, and central Florida can expect about 86 percent maximum coverage of the solar disc when the peak occurs at around 2:45 pm.

A solar eclipse occurs when the sun and moon line up with Earth, with the moon in between. 

A total solar eclipse, when this alignment is exact, means that a person on Earth in the right place can see the moon completely block out the sun. 

Part of the reason the total eclipse is so stunning is because the sun and the moon are the same angular size, meaning that although the sun is 400 times bigger than the moon, it’s also 400 times farther away.

It's an impressive sight, and you may be tempted to look at it without the proper eyewear, but don't.

You've no doubt heard this many times, already, but not look directly at the sun without proper protection.

Everyday sunglasses are not appropriate eye protection during a solar eclipse.

Make sure that you have a proper and certified pair of eclipse-viewing glasses, or have another means to take it in. 

You can download information on glasses or other ways to view this event at NASA's eclipse website. https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov .

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