During totality, it's perfectly safe to look directly at the eclipse. To be on the safe side, us UV blocking glass but otherwise it's perfectly safe. I've watched a total eclipse through a 2.5" telescope with no filters. Set a timer to make sure you don't accidentally look at the "diamond ring", though. Not good.
Super Walmart is right at the exit I plan on stopping at. There are several restaurants very close so, we plan on getting there early and eating. If we have any delay, then hopefully we will still get there early enough, then eat later.
It is none-the-less a coincidence and only true for a part of the orbit so at other times you get annular eclipses when the moon is further away from the Earth. If you can get to the total eclipse track I would urge you to see it for yourself - it is a spectacular phenomena to witness totality. Shadow bands in the final thin crescent phase, transient winds and confused night creatures flying around afterwards. Aim for the centre line to see the longest total eclipse ~2 minutes this time.
Several million more years and tidal drag will have moved the moon too far away from the Earth to ever give a total eclipse. More than you are ever likely to want to know about eclipses and the lunar orbit at:
Unfortunately it is quite old and doesn't cover this years event.
The really dangerous phase is when there is a thin sliver of photosphere visible but most of the sun is obscured by the moon. Your eye's iris is wide open because there isn't much light remaining but the photosphere surface brightness is just as high as for a full sun. People make the mistake of staring directly at it and get characteristic crescent shaped retinal burns which only show up very painfully a few hours later.
It is entirely safe to look at the sun with a telescope during totality but you must set an alarm to avoid being caught out! You must never look at the photosphere through a scope directly without appropriate filters (and some common toy scope kit solar filters may be unsafe). The ones that attach to an eyepiece may suddenly crack without any warning.
Projection onto a screen is a safe way to watch the progress of the early stages of an eclipse.
Most eclipses there are disposable filter glasses on offer or Baader solar film for telescopes (photographic and visual grades) eg
They tend to sell out of this stuff immediately before one.
I live in Idaho about 30 minutes away from the peak of it. We've made came ra obscuras and have the proper glasses as well. Very much looking forward to it. I was living in Boston in 1994, so got to see that one and I'll ne ver forget it.
Our biggest worry is the influx of out-of-state visitors. There are basical ly two roads that can be used, and both are windy two-lane mountain roads. A breakdown in any of many long stretches will completely shut down traffi c as there are no shoulders, just cliffs. The local news is predicting dis aster and imploring everybody to have 3 days of food and water on them!
Well, here's a short list of assorted global catastrophes worthy of exploitation. Some are man made and can therefore be used to support a giant guilt trip, to redistribute the wealth, and for political purposes. Fortunately, none of the prospective catastrophes are likely to be serious, as indicated by the lack of suitable acronyms, which are required for anything of importance.
There are already organizations in place to research the problem:
Of the man made technological potential disasters, I don't believe any of them are likely because technology is self limiting. Despite good intentions, advances in technology tends to create unemployment. The unemployed are a serious problem to governments, which will likely blame technology for every conceivable problem. The governments will then pass laws that limit the use and spread of technology in an effort to "create jobs", which will likely push the world into another dark age. Technical progress and research will cease. Manual labor, subsistence farming and glorified poverty will be the next big things.
If your busy schedule does not permit participating in a global catastrophe, this calendar of predicted apocalyptic events might help:
If you feel the need to experience a global catastrophe, there are a variety of movies and videos which might help:
 The current fashion is to append "exit" to everything instead of contriving a suitable acronym. "HomoExit", "ExitUS", or "*.*exit" might be acceptable substitutes.
Jeff Liebermann firstname.lastname@example.org
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
It's an amazing experience to be in the area of totality before, during and after an eclipse. Lots of stuff happens you wouldn't expect if you've only ever watched this phenomenon on TV (which doesn't remotely do it justice). I really must make the effort to see at least one more before I pop my cloggs.