How to Safely Watch the Solar Eclipse in Gainesville

By Julia Bauer
Solar eclipse

Get ready to watch the solar eclipse cross over North America Monday, April 8! It is a total solar eclipse, which occurs “when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun,” according to NASA. The sky will go dark “as if it were dawn or dusk.” Unfortunately, Florida is not in the path of the total eclipse. However, we will be able to witness a partial eclipse. But before you run outside April 8, it is important to know how to safely watch this year’s solar eclipse in Gainesville.

ACPS Precautions

ACPS has decided that no outdoor activities will be held at local schools during the eclipse between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 8, according to an ACPS news release.

“School programs, physical education classes, band and sports practices and other activities will be held indoors, postponed or cancelled,” according to the release. School dismissal will occur at regular times.

If you decide to keep your children at home or sign them out early, their absence will be excused.

Throughout the day, bus drivers and school staff will remind students to not look directly at the sun at any time.

The Best Time to See the Eclipse

In Gainesville, the partial eclipse will begin at 1:45 p.m. and end at 4:18 p.m. The eclipse will reach its maximum point at 3:03 p.m. with a magnitude of 0.700, meaning more than half the sun will be hidden by the moon.

You can view a map of the total solar eclipse path here.

Eclipse Safety Tips

Never look directly at the eclipse without proper eye protection. Doing so will result in serious eye injury, according to NASA. Regular sun glasses are not enough to protect your eyes from the sun. Instead, you must view the eclipse through an ISO certified lens or filter.

It is also unsafe to view the eclipse through any kind of camera or telescope, according to NASA. These items must also have ISO certified filters to make them safe to look through.

You can learn more about eclipse safety and indirect viewing methods from NASA here.

Products to Enhance Your Experience

Solar eclipse glasses

ISO Certified Solar Eclipse Glasses

These glasses have been tested by leading USA ICS Laboratories and meet current international safety standards for filters to view the sun directly.

Amazon image of eclipse glasses

ISO Certified LUNT SOLAR 5 Pack Premium Eclipse Glasses

Not only do these shades meet ISO standards, but the Lunt Solar Systems brand is the top U.S. precision optics lab that makes NASA-approved solar viewing equipment.

Eclipse phone lens

ISO Certified Smartphone Photo Filter

This lens allows you to capture all the solar eclipse phases on your phone by protecting your phone camera from harmful rays.

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