Science Pun Episode #3: Solar Eclipse

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Solar Eclipse that’s coming up on Monday, August 21st because I definitely have. Just a few days ago, I went to get my annual eye exam check-up, and my eye doctor had already almost entirely sold out of those special solar eclipse glasses that he had ordered. Anyway, to honor this special occasion, I decided to make a Science Pun Episode #3 all about the Solar Eclipse! Take a look at the science pun below:

 

As always, an explanation of the pun will be down below at the end of this episode.

Without further ado, I will be answering the what’s and the how’s and the why’s of a solar eclipse by first starting off with what it is. A solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun kind of like this:

Image result for solar eclipse pun

 

So, how often does the solar eclipse happen? Shouldn’t it happen every month because it takes the moon a month to rotate around the Earth? Well, not exactly. This is due to the 5 degree tilt of the moon’s orbit in relation to Earth’s orbit around the sun. In the video below, it shows how from above, it looks like the moon goes between the Earth and the sun frequently. However, from the side-view, the moon is for example too high or too low from the Earth to result in a solar eclipse. This is why it can take ages for us to see another solar eclipse. It’s literally a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Also, depending on where you are, you will see a different view of the solar eclipse. As seen in the image below, as the moon is going from west to east on August 21st, the path of totality is where you would see the total solar eclipse whereas elsewhere, you would only see a partial eclipse.

image
path of totality

A map of the United States showing the path of totality for the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse.

You also can’t look directly at the sun without special eyewear, and sunglasses don’t work either. If you want to know why it’s so harmful to see, think about a leaf. The sun gives off ultraviolet rays. If you use a magnifying glass against a leaf and concentrate these rays to a small section of the leaf, you can burn it. This is essentially what is happening when you look at the sun during a solar eclipse without the correct filtering device. The UV rays are penetrating your eye and burning through it which can be extremely harmful and possibly result in loss of sight.

There are two ways to view the solar eclipse safely. One is to indirectly view it by projecting it onto another surface and the other way is to use eclipse glasses that are available for purchase. If you’re looking to make one, this article offers some insight Five Ways to View the Solar Eclipse.

If you miss your chance to see it or just want to see what the solar eclipse looked like in other places around the United States, NASA made a really cool web application to observe the eclipse online: Eyes Eclipse 2017 Web Application.

To learn more information about the solar eclipse, check out NASA’s 2017 Solar Eclipse website.

Now that you know more about the solar eclipse, have fun watching it tomorrow!

 

Pun Explanation: 

Basically this pun is delineating to what a “total” solar eclipse basically does which is it “covers up the sun” from our view.

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