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On Monday August 21, 2017, part of the United States will have a Full Eclipse. While most of our country will experience a partial eclipse, 14 states will experience a full eclipse. Why is it so special and causing so much excitement? It’s a rare event, duh! But why?

The last total solar eclipse to cross the US was in 1979. That eclipse was only visible in a few states here. This one will be noticeable in so many more states, which is why it’s such a big deal. According to scientists we won’t experience one like this for over 100 years.

There will be a ton of citizen science projects happening all around our country. If you’re going to one, be safe and follow the rules. The actual time the sun will be covered by the moon completely will only last minutes. But the total event will be a few hours.

So what should you do and not do during a solar eclipse?

• Do NOT look at the sun. We should actually never look directly at the sun, but it’s important to not try and look at it while the eclipse is happening. Why? You can lose your eyesight or permanently damage your retina causing vision issues, including blindness. If you’re sucking your teeth and doubting, stop! It’s true; warn your kids, your friends, and family. Check out this guy’s story here about his eclipse eye damage. Ask your momma!

• Don’t try to make your own glasses or filters. It won’t work. Really, in this day and age, just wait for the professional pictures to come out on social media. You won’t miss anything; there will be a ton of pictures for you to check out.

• Do enjoy the shadow and changes in Sunlight or lack thereof. Here in FL, we won’t get a full eclipse, but will be interesting to see how the daylight is affected. Remember to look at your surroundings. If you’re outside, look around and notice if there are other changes you can pick up on. Enjoy the moment and don’t fret about looking at the sun.

• Do not try to take pictures of the eclipse with your smart phone. The sun rays can damage your phone just like it will damage your eyes.

• According to some people, just being around the eclipse can make you feel eerie, special and different. If you believe in astrology, check out this article in Women’s Health that talks about its affects. It says it will especially affect Leo and Aquarius. To find out how it will affect all other signs check out this article.

The time of the eclipse here in SWFL will be between 1:30 and 4:30 pm Eastern standard time. Remember to enjoy this rare event but do NOT burn the cells in your Retina. Your eyes don’t feel pain, so don’t be dumb, protect your eyes sugarplum!

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