[Seth-Trips] Partial solar eclipse today

Seth David Schoen schoen at loyalty.org
Mon Jun 10 13:16:54 PDT 2002

(not a trip, just an eclipse)

----- Forwarded message from Seth David Schoen <schoen at eff.org> -----

Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 13:13:10 -0700
From: Seth David Schoen <schoen at eff.org>
Subject: Partial solar eclipse today

There is a partial solar eclipse scheduled for today at 6:16p (local
San Francisco time).  It should be an interesting thing to watch.

I was a victim of an eye injury during the total solar eclipse of
spring 1994 (because I stared at the eclipse).  It took me about six
months to lose that afterimage.  So I wholeheartedly endorse the
cautions about not staring at eclipses.  As a Yahoo article linked
from slashdot today says:

	However, looking at the Sun is harmful to your eyes at
	anytime, partial eclipse or otherwise.

	Most people are under the mistaken impression that when a solar
	eclipse is in progress there is something especially insidious
	about the Sun's light. But the true danger that an eclipse poses
	is simply that it may induce people to stare at the Sun,
	something they wouldn't normally do.

So you just need to remember that watching the Sun during an eclipse
is neither more nor less dangerous than usual.  Sunglasses, welding
glasses, or pinholes will help.  Limiting and breaking up your
eclipse-viewing time, or watching a projection of the eclipse onto the
ground (using a lens or pinhole) is a good idea too.

One of the most impressive things about eclipses is that images of the
Sun formed through pinholes will suddenly be crescent-shaped instead
of circular.  This is a very bizarre effect which is easiest to see if
you stand under a large, leafy tree, and watch the points of light
amidst the shadows of the leaves.  Suddenly, instead of points of
light, they should turn into crescents of light.  As an alternative,
poke a large number of tiny holes in a piece of paper, hold it a short
distance about the ground, and look at the shadow beneath.

----- End forwarded message -----

Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org> | Reading is a right, not a feature!
     http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/   |                 -- Kathryn Myronuk
     http://vitanuova.loyalty.org/     |

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