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This image of the moon crossing in front of the sun was captured on Jan. 30, 2014, by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observing an eclipse from its vantage point in space.
Credits: NASA

For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will occur across the entire continental United States. We’ve put together this guide to help you prepare for the experience of a lifetime on August 21, 2017. Although Oklahoma will be just outside of the path of totality, we will still experience approximately an 87 percent obscuration of the sun. The best time to see the eclipse will be between 11:37 am and 2:34 pm with the maximum peak view at 1:08 pm in Tulsa.

The Great American Total Solar Eclipse

Coast to coast, from Oregon to South Carolina, 14 states will experience a ribbon-like path of totality of darkness for two minutes in the middle of the day. When the moon completely blocks the sun, day will turn into night and make visible the otherwise hidden solar corona, the sun’s atmosphere.  A newspaper writer watching the disappearing sun’s final dazzling pinpoint during the Roaring Twenties Big Apple eclipse of 1924, described it as a diamond ring. Bright stars and planets will also become visible. Using specialized solar viewing glasses or other equipment, all of North America will be able to view at least a partial eclipse lasting two to four hours.

Path of the 2017 Total Eclipse through the USA
Credits: NASA

Viewing Safety

Think you can get by without those funny looking eclipse glasses? Nope. You literally could go blind – for real, for life. An eclipse is a rare and striking phenomenon you won’t want to miss, but you must carefully follow safety procedures.

Tulsa Air and Space Museum may have eclipse glasses available for $2 each on a first come basis. Also, check out NASA’s suggested sites to purchase authentic safety glasses. In a quick search, Explore Scientific still has some in stock and ships in the US.

Those who would like to read more about eye safety during an eclipse or to learn how to make a simple pinhole camera or a box pinhole projector can visit the following helpful links:
www.nasa.gov/content/eye-safety-during-a-total-solar-eclipse
www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/learn/project/how-to-make-a-pinhole-camera/
www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/box-pinhole-projector.html

Local Viewing Events

Tulsa Air and Space Museum

Jenks Public School Planetarium – Jenks

Only 1% of the population ever sees a full solar eclipse, so Jenks Planetarium created a show, “2017 Eclipse Across America” to educate guests about this unique event about to take place. This 50 minute show will tell you everything you need to know to prepare you for August 21st, as well as entertain you with ancient eclipse lore. Dates and times for this show can be found here.

Address: Jenks Planetarium, Dr. Kirby A. Lehman Center for the Study of Math and Science Center, 3rd Floor at 105 E B Street, Jenks, OK.

NASA Live Coverage

Viewers around the world will be provided a wealth of images captured before, during, and after the eclipse by 11 spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft, more than 50 high-altitude balloons, and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station – each offering a unique vantage point for the celestial event.

NASA Television will air a multi-hour show, Eclipse Across America: Through the Eyes of NASA, with unprecedented live video of the celestial event, along with coverage of activities in parks, libraries, stadiums, festivals and museums across the nation, and on social media.

On the day of the eclipse go to www.nasa.gov/eclipselive where you will be directed by default to the NASA TV broadcast. The broadcast starts at 12 noon EDT and will connect with many of the NASA broadcasts distributed across the country.

What are your plans on Monday? Tell us in the comments below.

Monday’s eclipse brings to mind the gospel account of the crucifixion, which describe a total darkness similar to what many will experience on August 21st. Read about the The Most Famous Eclipse in History to learn more.

Author: Shirley Pittenger

Shirley Pittenger was the Executive Assistant, Office Manager, and Digital Communications & Social Media Manager at Bixby’s First Baptist Church from 2009 to 2017. Shirley is married to Bob Pittenger who is the Community Groups Pastor at the Church at Battlecreek in the Tulsa Metro area. Shirley holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Baptist College of Florida. She enjoys teaching in the youth group, singing, reading, studying God’s Word, and spending time with her family.

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