Although we posted a wonderful guide to eclipse, including where to get free, truly-safe-for-your eyes glasses, we haven’t gotten it together to get them ourselves. So we’ve figured out lazy-dog, last-minute strategies for experiencing this once-in-a-blue-moon cosmic wonder. By doing practically nothing.
First find out when the eclipse will peak in your timezone by checking here or here. Close to the time, wherever you are, just STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AN LOOK AROUND. If you’re on the street or in a car, in advance of the eclipse find a place to pull over and just…be. As New York Times cosmic affairs correspondent, Dennis Overbye, so evocatively advised:
…look around. An eclipse is the ultimate democratic experience. Permission is not required. As Bob Dylan once sang, ‘But for the sky there are no fences facing.’
As the moon moves across the sun, the world will be subtly changing and just feeling that may be quite an experience. Miraculously, holes in the leaf canopy produce a pinhole effect that project images of the eclipse on a sheet of paper (or the sidewalk and walls…)
If you aren’t able to pick up special, truly reliable eclipse viewing glasses that allow you to look directly at the sun, you can easily make a pinhole eclipse viewer out of the stuff around you. Two paper plates (or pieces of white card stock) and a needle or paperclip will do. Poke a tiny hole in one plate. Hold it up to the sun, aiming the light that comes through the hole onto the second plate, where you’ll get to watch the slow movement of the moon across the sun.
Just about anything with a small hole can be used to project the eclipse onto a surface, including a kitchen skimmer…
…or even your own hand. Make your fist into the smallest opening you can to let a point of sunlight sneak through to project the light on a pale flat surface.
Or grab your binoculars and a piece of paper. Hold the binoculars up to the sun (NOT up your eyes!!) and aim the eyepiece on the white paper (or a wall) to project the solar eclipse’s evolving image.
You can also just watch NASA’s live stream.
Of all the playlists around, we’ve been enjoying NPR’s Songs for the Total Solar Eclipse 2017 by WXPN the most, streamable on Spotify.
The beer to drink is, of course, Corona.
If you’re asking yourself WHY BOTHER?, New York Times’ Jenna Wortham put it in a nutshell:
An eclipse can remind us that we are somehow both infinitesimal and infinite, that despite the confines and tedium of our daily lives, we live in an amazing reality, one that we lack the language to truly articulate …