Technonlogy

NASA has party tips to make this the best solar eclipse

NASA is ready to party. 

On Aug. 21, 2017, for the first time since 1918, a total solar eclipse will cross the entire continental United States—and NASA just released a long list of things you can do to prepare for the big day. 

The actual eclipse won’t take that long: At the point of max totality in Carbondale, Illinois, the moon will block the sun for a full 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Elsewhere, it’s about 2 minutes of celestial fun.

Party with the path of totality.

To make the most of this day party (the sun has to be out for the eclipse to happen—it starts around 9 a.m. on the Oregon coast and finishes up before 3 p.m. near Charleston, South Carolina), start with picking a location. NASA suggests one of its official viewing sites, or “local community centers, museums, observatories, parks or open fields.”

If you can’t make it IRL, get online. Many livestreams, online discussions (#Eclipse2017 is the hashtag to use), simulations, online videos, and animations will be there to entertain and educate you. The official NASA megacast comes out of Carbondale, where a 4.5-hour livestream will start at 11:45 a.m. ET. This is the best way to track the entire eclipse from start to finish.

For more low-tech party tips, NASA suggests poster contests, edible eclipse models, and using “triangles and proportions to create a shoebox eclipse simulator.” You know, normal party activities. 

One party recommendation can’t be stressed enough: watching the eclipse with proper safety gear.  

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