What you need to know about today’s solar eclipse
You might have heard there’s a solar eclipse happening across the U.S. today and it’s kind of a big deal.
Like, the moon is literally about to cross in front of the sun and block it out for two full minutes! Everyone’s going to be gathering outside to stare at the sun in these hideous paper viewing glasses and not talk about Donald Trump for 10 minutes or so. It’s lit.
Eclipses are heavy, and people say they can totally change the way you look at the world. But there are a few things you need to know before you take this one in, so read on.
1. Everything’s gonna go dark for like two minutes
It’s pretty insane but true: if you’re in the U.S., between the hours of 10 a.m. PST and 3 p.m. EST, the eclipse will be traveling across the country and making the sky go dark during the daytime in certain areas.
The deets on this vary depending on where you live. But if you’re in NYC, the action starts around 1:30 p.m. and will continue until 4 p.m. The sun will be most obscured around 2:44 p.m., but it won’t be totally covered. Click here for a full guide on how to watch in NYC.
2. Yes, you really could damage your eyes looking at this thing
Your mom isn’t being overprotective when she squawks at you not to look at the eclipse with your naked eye.
You need a pair of eclipse glasses if you want to look directly at this puppy. If not, you can use a pinhole projector or even a spaghetti strainer, the New York Times says, but please don’t take my word for it because I don’t need people who went blind staring at the sun through a macaroni hole trying to sue Galore.
Here’s the important thing: do not look directly at the sun during the eclipse! You could partially blind yourself! It’s a weird concept because the sun will appear darker than normal, but it’s true.
“When you partially obscure the sun with the moon, it’s not so bright, and it’s not so painful to actually look at it,” Dr. G. Baker Hubbard of the Emory Eye Center in Atlanta told Fox 5. “But, even though it’s not painful, those harmful rays are still getting in your eyes and focused right onto the center of your retina, and that’s where it does the damage.”
Basically, the sun’s darkness will make your brain play tricks on you during the eclipse. Your brain will be like, “Oh, the sun’s dark, let me stare at it!” But meanwhile, the sun’s radiation will be just as strong and capable of burning your retinas to a crisp. Don’t mess around with this, y’all!
If you’re still not convinced, read this interview with two guys who were partially blinded by the last solar eclipse and thank me later.
3. There are major astrological implications
Here’s the fun part: all eclipses are spiritual af and have huge impacts on your horoscope, and this one is no different.
Today’s eclipse is in Leo. The internet’s favorite astrologist, Susan Miller, says this could mean “a king or great leader could depart.” Don’t too excited, though, because she also has “no idea where or who this ‘king’ or national leader will be located, so we will all have to stay tuned.”
MindBodyGreen goes a bit deeper on the implications of a solar eclipse in Leo. They say this is a great time for you to get in touch with your inner child, explore, and start a new creative project. Loves it.
Either way, don’t be afraid to embrace your woo-woo side today. Light some incense, blast some Enya, strap on your eclipse glasses and get weird!
4. It’s a great excuse to deck yourself out in some celestial sh*t
If you feel like channeling Stevie Nicks or your favorite witch, today is the day. Whip out your moon pendants and occult accessories and embrace it!
You also might want to pregame the eclipse with a bottle of red, since that’s the best night time drink. May we recommend 7 Moons? We downed some to get in that chilled out eclipse mindset last night and it was pretty magical. Plus the bottle art’s on-brand af and what’s more important than that?
5. Don’t waste time taking pics, fake it with a filter
People say an eclipse of this magnitude can shift your perspective on pretty much everything. I mean, most of the country is about to go dark in the middle of the day. That’s some heavy shit.
So while indulging in the eclipse, please don’t bury yourself in your phone trying to take pics. There are professional photographers doing that, you can just google their photos later. Instead, soak up all the astronomical weirdness, electronics-free.
If you must mark the eclipse with a selfie, Facebook Messenger has a mask (below left) and a frame (below right) you can use. One of them has a cartoon version of the moon covering the sun. The other one sticks a cat on your head and then puts eclipse glasses on both of ya. You can also use the cat one for a video chat. Hot.