Iowa Nature July 25, 2017
The Rare Natural Phenomenon In Iowa That Will Go Down In History
Are you ready for August 21, 2017? The moon is about to photobomb the sun. Keep reading to learn all about it.
The last total solar eclipse in North America happened in 1991. This year, on August 21, about 500 million people on our continent will be able to see the total solar eclipse.
Weather permitting, the eclipse will be visible across all of North America. Some areas will get darker than others. Iowa isn't in the direct path of this particular solar eclipse, but Iowans will be able to observe the event. People in the 70-mile-wide path between Oregon and South Carolina will experience total darkness as the moon blocks the sun's rays completely for between two and three minutes. During this time, the sun's solar corona, it's outer atmosphere, will be visible. Observers will also see planets and bright stars during this brief time.
This total solar eclipse presents a unique opportunity to witness one of nature's greatest shows.
There are many eclipse parties happening around Iowa. Here are two that are free and open to the public:
In Des Moines, the eclipse will begin at 11:42am with maximum eclipse (95%) at 1:08pm. It will end at 2:33 pm.
The Science Center of Iowa is holding a gathering at the West Terrace of the Iowa State Capitol Building located at 1007 E Grand Avenue in Des Moines. Bring a picnic lunch and plan to stick around for this amazing event.
On the first day of classes at UNI (University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls), the Earth and Environmental Science Department and the Iowa Academy of Science will celebrate the solar eclipse with activities in the Rod Library in HUB Room 287 and also south of the Campanile.
This event is free and UNI students, faculty, staff, and the general public are all invited to attend. See the partial solar eclipse through a telescope and download free apps to explore augmented reality earth and space topics.
Near the UNI wall, Earth and Environmental Science faculty and students will have glasses, pinhole cameras, and telescopes on hand
This is a partial eclipse only. The event is supported and sponsored by the Iowa Academy of Science, CHAS, UNI STEM, and the Earth and Environmental Science Department.
Even a partial eclipse poses certain risks to people watching the action.
While it's a rare and not-to-be-missed natural phenomenon, a solar eclipse requires certain eye protection. Without it, you could do permanent and devastating damage to your eyesight. Because the 2017 eclipse will be only partial in Iowa, it's important to keep special eye protection on for the duration of the event. Sunglasses aren't helpful! You need eye protection designed especially for this event. Keep a close eye on small children, as well. The sun's eye-frying rays cause painless damage, so you won't know it's happened until it's too late.
Yeah...but you can't really go blind from staring directly at an eclipse, right?
Wrong. It's much more likely that you'll simply damage your eyesight to the point that you can't read a computer screen or drive a car. Ever. Again. Just wear the glasses. Looking at the eclipse through the lens of a camera (even your super-sexy smartphone camera) will still give your eyes a sunburn. Every time there's a solar eclipse there's someone that does permanent damage to their eyesight. They lose all but their peripheral vision or spend the rest of their lives looking at the world through irreversible black or yellow spots that float in their field of vision. Wear the glasses.
This lunar eclipse was in Polk County.
It happened at 1:30am in Des Moines on August 1, 2013. Of course there's a big difference between a solar eclipse (happens during the day) and a lunar eclipse (happens at night) but this picture is amazing. So, enjoy.
Ready or not…