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[VIDEO] 5 facts you should know before watching the eclipse

By on August 21, 2017

Editor’s note: The following article originally appeared in Buenavida.

We are all prepared to enjoy the solar eclipse, be it from our workplace, school, at events or our homes, but cannot forget to protect our eyes.

In Puerto Rico, the eclipse’s shadow will begin at about 2:11 p.m. and end at 4:46 p.m.

Ahead of the event, here are five facts you should know before enjoying the eclipse, which will be the first in nearly 100 years to cover the contiguous United States.

What is a solar eclipse?

The celestial phenomenon occurs when the moon covers a large portion of the sun. A full eclipse will be seen visible in 14 states, but all of North America will be able to see at least a partial eclipse, if the weather allows it.

On its website, NASA emphasizes that “during a total eclipse, we have the rare opportunity to look directly at the sun’s vast, striking outer atmosphere, the corona.” Brilliant stars and planets will also be visible.

Duration

The eclipse will last between two to three hours. Besides, its visibility relies on weather conditions.

Protect your eyes

The Puerto Rican Society of Ophthalmology stressed in a press release that “looking directly at this phenomenon could cause irreversible damage to the retina and could even cause blindness.”

The society recommends using special lenses designed to see solar eclipses, since these have an approved filter that is many times darker than regular sunglasses. It is important to assure the lenses are not scratched or otherwise damaged.

Animal behavior

According to BBC World, most animals have their biological clock synchronized to the sun’s movement, which means that when the sun is covered many will notice the change. Nocturnal animals could begin their activity, while daytime animals could cease theirs.

Changes to the planet

BBC World adds that the solar eclipse could cause a drop in temperatures, as well as changes to wind patterns. This will last several minutes and then everything will go back to normal.

Not many of us will have the opportunity to enjoy the solar eclipse, but thanks to the internet, NASA will offer its own live coverage on its webpage, so click the following link or enjoy here directly.

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