Training center, experts urge safety in path of solar eclipse

(Image: The Minuteman statue outside Patriot Hall at the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee dons a pair of eclipse glasses, June 22, 2017, to emphasize the need for safe viewing of the coming solar eclipse.)

The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center staff, as well as students lucky enough to be assigned here Monday, August 21, will be seated directly in the path of totality during the North American Eclipse.

McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in East Tennessee borders both cities inside the area where the moon completely blocks light from the sun. Given good weather, experts predict those in Louisville, Tenn., should expect to see the partial phase beginning at 1:04 PM (EDT) and up to total blackout at 2:33 PM, lasting for 1 minute and 26 seconds. Those in Alcoa, Tenn. will see 1 minute 24 seconds of totality.

The campus’s open view of the distant Smoky Mountains has some seemingly unobstructed spots to watch it all unfold, with potential viewing areas like the running track and hillsides.

For those hoping to view the eclipse, experts at NASA and other organizations warn us to wear certified eclipse viewing glasses, not sunglasses, or to use a pinhole viewer. Direct viewing even the smallest sunlight of a partial eclipse without protection can cause eye damage. Also, do not look through cell phone cameras, cameras, telescopes, binoculars or other optical devices, even while wearing eclipse glasses, as they may not protect from lens-concentrated rays.

NASA has a web page dedicated to the eclipse, found here: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

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