3 Last-Minute, Must-Know Reminders As Total Eclipse About To Begin For North Carolina

You’ve likely already seen or read all you need to know about the eerie daytime darkness we’re about to experience, but a few last-minute reminders can’t hurt.

In the Charlotte area, the partial eclipse will begin around 1:12 p.m. and end around 4:04 p.m. The maximum eclipse will occur at 2:41 p.m., with a 97 percent obscuration.

First and foremost, protect your eyes. The history of eclipses is littered with scores of accounts of people damaging — and even losing — their sight by looking toward the sun with inadequate protection or none at all. Ordinary sunglasses won’t help. If you look directly at the sun, be sure that you have glasses that you’re sure are ISO 1232-2 compliant. Those glasses can be expensive. The best eclipse-on-a-budget device for viewing has been used for more than 1,000 years: the pinhole camera. All you need is a couple of pieces of paper to construct your own basic version. For a deluxe version, you’ll need only a cereal box (emptied to avoid Cheerios in the eyes), a couple of strips of tape, a small piece of paper and and some foil. Here’s how to build a pinhole camera quickly. Live in the moment, meaning, put down that obnoxious cell phone. Eclipses like this one are rare, and NASA and other sources will provide photos of the moon obscuring the sun that are far better than you’ll be able to snap. So, rather than fumbling around with something as common as your cell phone, soak in the wonder of what’s happening during those darkened two minutes or so around you.
Photo courtesy of NASAcourtesy of North Carolina Emergency Management

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