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Ask SAM: The August solar eclipse

24 July 2017, 01:57 | Hattie Nash

NASA says your eclipse glasses may be unsafe. Here's how to tell if they're not

NASA: Unsafe eclipse glasses in circulation

The total solar eclipse is to occur on Aug 21, 2017. The astronomical event will make a long, 70-mile-wide path from the Pacific Northwest to the Southeast, crossing 14 states including southern Idaho.

Millions of people are expected to see The Great American Eclipse on August 21.

According to Morehead Planetarium, this will be the first total solar eclipse in the 48 contiguous states since 1979, and the first total solar eclipse visible from the Carolinas since 1970.

Answer: Yes, assuming the skies are clear, Winston-Salem should get a good view of the eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21. No matter what, don't gaze directly at it, which is of course common knowledge. Regular sunglasses may be used to protect the eyes from the harmful rays of the sun but these should not used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses.

"There are unsafe paper solar glasses being distributed", said NASA in a release Friday.

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An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially-eclipsed Sun is with a pinhole projector.

More than 50 locations in North and SC will have Carolinas Solar Eclipse parties, including the Kaleideum North on Hanes Mill Road in Winston-Salem and Greensboro Science Center in Greensboro.

The total path of totality of the eclipse on Aug 21, 2017, is 70 miles and it stretches from OR to SC. The space agency also discouraged use of homemade filters.

"But, only with special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can safely look directly at the Sun", the statement added.

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