Area residents prepare for eclipse

HARTINGTON — From Hartington to South Sioux City to Wayne, Northeast Nebraska prepares for the great eclipse Aug. 21 and nothing like it has been seen here since 1979.

“A good way for parents to explain the eclipse to their children is with a lamp, a ball and a globe to show how the sun and moon line up with the earth,” said former Hartington-Newcastle science teacher Brenda Buschkamp.

“The eclipse is occurring due to the earth,  moon and sun lining up so that the moon is blocking the sun,” she said.

“School lessons use simulators to demonstrate the arrangement for students,” Buschkamp said, adding that HNS students in grades 8, 9, 11 and the physics class will travel to Kearney to view the total eclipse which is not visible in Hartington.

Hartington eye doctor, Dr. Roger Filips advises Cedar County residents to be careful, even though the solar eclipse in this part of the country will be only a partial eclipse.

“A partial eclipse means the sun will still be out and still have a strong effect on people’s eyes, especially if they look directly at it,’’ Filips said.

The sun shines about a half million times brighter than the full moon in visible light and emits potentially harmful ultraviolet UV and infrared IR radiation.

Special-purpose filters are a thousand times darker than ordinary sunglasses. Solar eclipse glasses are tested with a spectrophotometer that shines UV and IR through the filter and measures how much gets through at each wavelength. Solar eclipse glasses are tested at special labs that perform this test. See :https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters for a list of safe manufacturers.

Wayne State College Planetarium Director Dr. Todd Young said it is imperative to use proper eye protection when viewing the eclipse.