- A fact, occurrence, or circumstance observed or observable.
- Something that is impressive or extraordinary.
There are some people who will go their whole lives without witnessing an astronomical phenomenon. A few examples of these rare happenstances are Halley’s comet, planetary alignments, and the Venus Transition, the moment when Venus comes between Earth and the sun and is visible as a small black disc. All these occurrences are once-in-a-lifetime chances, recurring every 75 to 110 years or more. But this year, on August 21st, there will be an extraordinary phenomena for us all to witness.
While this incident is monumental, few observers will know about and use the proper equipment and eye wear to watch the proceedings.
There will be a country-wide solar eclipse on the 21st of this month. Yes, you read that right. A solar eclipse will span the width of the entire continental US. While the “Path of Totality” (the line where a TOTAL solar eclipse will take place) is about 70 miles wide, stretching from South Carolina to Oregon, every one of the lower 48 states will see at least a partial eclipse.
You might find yourself wondering, “Do people truly care?” The answer is YES. There are hundreds of thousands of people booking hotel rooms along the eclipse path just to get a glimpse of this unbelievable event. Even those outside of the “Path of Totality” will be watching to see the nation-wide solar eclipse.
Most don’t know the degree of vision impairment possible from unprotected viewing, but the potential for permanent damage is extremely high. Protection is imperative for your patients, but be sure to have them get authentic eclipse-viewing glasses. Some vendors are selling cheap frauds that are closer to glorified 3D glasses as “protection.” Have your patients go with NASA-recommended glasses manufacturers like American Paper Optics, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, or TSE 17.
While this could be the single most significant astronomical event of our lifetimes, it is important for your patients to know that there is protection that needs to be worn while watching the solar eclipse. Stress to your patients that no eclipse, comet, planetary alignment, or any other rare phenomenon is worth permanent visual impairment. Have them wear eclipse-specific glasses and let them enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity safely.
- “phenomenon”. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 1 Aug. 2017. <Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/phenomenon>.
- “Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017.” Total Eclipse 2017, NASA, eclipse2017.nasa.gov/.