If you have kids, I hope the Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 was part of your day. We spent the past couple of weeks trying to figure out the best way to take part. The “special glasses” were sold out everywhere, and there were reports and rumors that many on-line glasses were “fake” and not rated to actually protect your eyes. The local middle-school announced a parking lot event, with “limited supplies” of glasses, but that sounded like a stressful mob scene.
Then I remembered my childhood telescope was somewhere in the garage, and that it had a “sun” filter we had used for school science reports on sun spots. I did a little on-line study to make sure it was safe, and to get tips on the best way to set thing up (and I DID learn a few things that I guess people didn’t know back then), and got things ready. It worked like a charm!
We’re in southern California, so we didn’t get very close to “totality”, but it was still cool and eerie as the sky darkened. In our scope the filtered sun looked kinda greenish, like a not-quite-ripe lemon, and we all had a chance to see the “crescent” sun as we reached our apex at about 10:20. School starts in just a few days, so this was a memorable event to help wrap up the summer.