With my Facebook and twitter feed full of news about the eclipse, I feel like I would be remiss not to mention it here. After hearing non-stop about the eclipse for the past few days, I really hadn’t made plans to get the viewing glasses necessary in order to not burn my eyes out. I thought I might pick up a free pair when I went to get my eyes checked; they had ordered 1500 glasses for patients to pick up for free, but ran out in three days. We were not in the direct path of the eclipse anyway, so I figured at most, I would step outside and see if it was any darker and let that be my eclipse “experience.”
It turns out that our director had ordered a bunch of extra glasses and was passing them out for our viewing pleasure! The glasses themselves are only good for looking at the sun. If you wore them any other time you would walk straight into a wall. They also include instructions to use them only for three minutes at a time. Getting to see the moon eat a chunk of the sun was fun, but I don’t think I would be able to stare at it for three whole minutes. It’s hot outside.
I will have to wait until April 8, 2024 to see another solar eclipse, and this time the path of totality will cross Texas. While I would have loved to take a road trip to St. Louis or Southern Illinois as an excuse to see this one, I think a quick drive to central Texas will be much easier to pull off. We might even have to go to Fredericksburg as an excuse to day drink some wine in the darkness. But the market for eclipse viewing glasses will be hot again; they apparently expire after three years. Figures!