Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tips on the Next Solar Eclipse

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  -Genesis 1:1

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  -John 1:3

Yesterday the great Solar Eclipse of August 21, AD 2017 took place across America.  If you were unprepared, here are some tips for the next Solar Eclipse. 

1.  Whether or not you are in the path of totality (total eclipse of the sun by the moon), any partial eclipse can be interesting.  So, be prepared.  In the Houston, Texas area we had 67% totality.  It was pretty dramatic if you knew what to look for.  The bright sunlight dimmed and if you had proper lens, you could clearly see the eclipse cut out a large portion of the sun. 

2.  Never look at the sun without proper protection for your eyes.  Proper protection does not include squinting, holding your hand above your eyes, looking between your fingers, or wearing a cap.  Neither does it include a pair of sunglasses, or even two or three pairs of sunglasses.  You can do serious damage to your eyes by looking at the sun. 

3.  Proper eye protection to look at the eclipse include those one-dollar eyeglasses especially made for the purpose.  But, get them early; they invariably run out. 

4.  An alternative most do not know is to use a welding lens or filter plate.  You can get them at a welding supply store, and sometimes at a hardware store.  A man at a welding supply said to look at the sun you need a shade 12 or 13.  It was reported by local news that NASA recommends a shade 13 or 14. 
If they do not have the right shade, you can put two together to equal the right level.  For example, a shade 8 and a shade 5. 
A welding lens only costs about four dollars.
Even these welding lenses should be purchased early; they very likely will be sold out before an eclipse.   
Do not use welding lenses that are scratched or cracked.  

5.  Make you own solar eclipse viewer. 
Get a welding lens, shade 13. 
Get a piece of cardboard about the size of a sheet of paper. 
Lay the lens in the middle of the cardboard and trace around it. 
Cut out a rectangle slightly smaller than the lens. 
Place lens over the cut out, and tape it to the cardboard with electrical tape. 
Before covering the print on the lens edge, you might want to copy that information on the cardboard, especially the shade number. 
Also include the date of the eclipse. 
You now have a viewer for the solar eclipse. 

6.  You can also make a box with aluminum foil, a pin hole, and white sheet of paper.  The sun shines through the pin hole and you can see the eclipse on the sheet of paper.  You can find more detailed directions on the internet.
These (#5 and #6) could also make good projects for Sunday School, school, or home school kids.  

7.  A solar eclipse reminds us of our Heavenly Father who created the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1).  Christians should never worship the creation, but we do worship the Creator.  The eclipse shows us the precision in which God hung the stars, planets, sun, moon, in space.  It should also remind us of how God created and placed us in the perfect environment to live, thrive, and serve Him. 

8.  Churches can prepare and advertise a Solar Eclipse Party. 
Place it in the paper and on your church sign. 
Print a handout with fast facts about the Solar Eclipse and our Creator.  Include your church name, address, service times.  
It gives you the opportunity for a community event, to help some who would not be able to see the eclipse, and gives a chance for witness. 
Provide snacks and drinks.  

9.  Professionals can take pictures of the eclipse.  But anyone can take pictures of those viewing the eclipse. They make interesting photos.  

“Eclipses are demonstrations of God's glory” and serve as “yet another example of creation pointing back to our Creator.”  
-California Baptist University astronomer Kyle Stewart; bpnews.net.  

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 22, AD 2017.  

Other articles in lower right margin.  

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