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Standing in the Light: Rainbow Symphony Blog

How Weather May Affect Your 2024 Eclipse Visibility

eclipse covered by clouds

It’s not too early to start preparations for the next major solar eclipse in 2024. Although there will be other eclipses before then, 2024 represents the next best opportunity for a wide swath of the United States and Mexico (along with a smaller part of Canada) to view this astronomical phenomenon.

Something as fascinating as viewing an eclipse shouldn’t be left to chance. Choosing your location is the most important decision you can make in this process. Additionally, veteran eclipse chasers always have an escape route planned so they can move to an alternate location if weather isn’t advantageous to eclipse viewing.

Although there’s never any guarantee that the location you choose for viewing will be free from clouds, there are experts who are able to extrapolate historical data to show which locations are historically better choices for eclipse viewing. As you start your early eclipse preparations, we recommend using the following resource to guide your planning.

  • Eclipsophile: Meteorologists Jay Andersen and Jennifer West provide historical climatological data to guide travelers as they attempt to choose the best eclipse viewing area. Their map for the next major solar eclipse in 2024 shows much of Mexico and the central United States as prime viewing spots for advantageous eclipse weather.

As you compile your eclipse plan, don’t forget to purchase your high-quality eclipse glasses, viewers, and solar filters from Rainbow Symphony. We’re passionate about providing you safe and effective products. In fact, our eclipse glasses are made in the US. They’re trusted by NASA and AAS because they are certified to meet standards for ISO 12312-2:2015. These eclipse glasses are also "CE" Certified, meeting requirements for transmission for scale 12-16 of EN 169/1992 for safety in directly viewing solar phenomena. Rainbow Symphony’s eclipse sunglasses meet the 2012 Transmission Requirements of EN 1836:2005 and AS/NZS 1338.1:1992 for eclipse filters (Queensland Directive). Best yet, our specialty lenses feature scratch-resistant materials with grade-five optical density--this guarantees eye protection from harmful solar radiation. “Black Polymer” blocks out 100% of ultraviolet light, infrared light, and 99.999% of intense visible light, and the lens filters produce orange-tinted imagery of the sun, with remarkably sharp detail.

To learn more, contact us today and get more information.

An Intro to the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

total solar eclipse

Back in 2017, some residents in the United States were treated to a total solar eclipse. This astronomical phenomenon caused excitement for many. However, there was a large swath of the population that was not in the path of totality to view the eclipse in all of its splendor. With another solar eclipse coming to the US in 2024, will you be prepared for its arrival?

Understanding Eclipses

An eclipse is a moment in time where the sun is obscured from sight by the moon. We call this a “rare” event, due to a number of factors. Yes, solar eclipses technically do happen more often that you may think, but their positioning isn’t often accessible.

The real issue comes down to the path that the eclipse travels. Due to the rotations of the earth and the moon, solar eclipses are often hard to access without traveling thousands of miles. Sometimes they are only observable in small areas for a very short period of time or they’re in rural parts of the world that are harder to access or plan a trip to! The path that a total solar eclipse travels is called the “path of totality.” This is the area where a person can observe the sun completely shrouded by a full moon. But, if you’re in the US, Canada, or Mexico, we all might be able to experience a toll solar eclipse right in our backyards in 2024.

An Event Worth Watching

An eclipse is a singularly unique event. We highly recommend that you take time to view the 2024 solar eclipse, which will take place on April 8, 2024. Because astronomers are able to track the movement of the earth and the moon, they can determine the cycles of eclipses that will come in the future. As such, scientists know the exact path an eclipse will take, how long it can be observed in a given area, and when it will disappear from view. Pretty amazing!

If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse during the spring of 2024, here are some details that you should know.

Date and time:

The full solar eclipse will begin at 12:38 PM Eastern Standard Time and will cease at 3:55 PM EST on the same day.

Duration:

Maximum eclipse viewing will take place near the city of Nazas, Durango in Mexico. Residents there will be able to view the 2024 solar eclipse for a total of 4 minutes and 29 seconds. Other cities in North America will also have the ability to see the total eclipse if they are in the path of totality.

Locations:

The path of totality will pass through the following states in order of appearance:

  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Arkansas
  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Maine

To see the exact area of path and times of totality in each state, click here to use a helpful tracker and map put together by NASA.

Watch the Eclipse Safely

child watching eclipse

Although it may be tempting to look directly at a solar eclipse during the partial phases, it’s important to note that doing so isn’t advisable.

Thankfully, you can safely view a solar eclipse by using a pair of certified eclipse glasses. These special glasses filter out solar radiation and allow you to view an eclipse in complete safety. At Rainbow Symphony, we offer several types of glasses, and each will allow you to view the 2024 solar eclipse without harming your eyes. We even have eclipse glasses that fit over the top of your current glasses to ensure that you can have the most vivid view possible.

Our eclipse glasses are USA made, trusted by NASA and AAS, and certified to meet ISO standard 12312-2:2015. They’re also "CE" Certified, meeting standards for transmission for scale 12-16 of EN 169/1992 for safe solar viewing. Rainbow Symphony’s eclipse sunglasses meet the 2012 Transmission Requirements of EN 1836:2005 and AS/NZS 1338.1:1992 for eclipse filters (Queensland Directive). And our specialty lenses have scratch-resistant materials with grade-five optical density, guaranteeing protection from solar radiation. “Black Polymer” blocks out 100% of ultraviolet light, infrared light, and 99.999% of intense visible light, and the filters on the lenses produce orange-colored imagery of the sun, with sharper detail and imagery.

Don’t wait until April 8, 2024 to get your eclipse gear ready! Contact us today at Rainbow Symphony and we’ll be glad to answer all of your eclipse-related questions.

The Rainbow Symphony Guide to Upcoming Solar Eclipse Events

upcoming-solar-eclipse

Whether you’re an amateur astronomer with an eye towards the stars or a seasoned eclipse chaser with a love for all things science, a solar eclipse is a truly unforgettable event –– and one that everyone should experience at least once!

But the only way to do so is to know where you need to be, and when you need to be there. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of upcoming solar eclipses starting in 2020 so you have the information you need to plan your eclipse event!

1. June 21st, 2020

An annular solar eclipse, where the Moon will create a ring of fire during its passing of the Sun, will kick off summer on June 21st. This eclipse will be visible in Central Africa as well as parts of Pakistan, India, and China. Unless you live in these regions, you may not be able to experience this eclipse in person. But fear not! There are more annual solar eclipses taking place over the next few years.

2. December 14th, 2020

The next total solar eclipse will take place near the end of 2020 –– perhaps making it the perfect way to spend your holidays! The path of totality will cut through Chile and parts of Argentina, as well as some additional regions in South America and Antarctica. If you’ve ever considered a trip to Temuco, Chile, this would be the perfect time to go!

3. June 10th, 2021

child-solar-eclipse

If you live in North America, this is a great opportunity to experience an annular solar eclipse. The best place to see this eclipse –– and finally catch a glimpse of that ring of fire –– will be in Northern Canada or Greenland. Even in June, you’ll likely want to bundle up, but it will be worth it!

4. December 4th, 2021

This total solar eclipse may only be for the most passionate eclipse chasers –– as the path of totality is almost entirely through Antarctica and the surrounding oceans. If you plan to experience this eclipse, you’d better start making plans now. However, if you want to see a partial solar eclipse, you could head to Namibia or South Africa!

5. April 20th, 2023

A more practical option for experiencing a total solar eclipse may be this 2023 event, which will be visible in Australia and parts of Southeastern Asia. The shores of Western Australia are especially likely to attract a significant crowd of like-minded eclipse chasers!

6. October 14th, 2023

This annular solar eclipse will cut through the Western United States, straight through Central America and into South America, making it an excellent opportunity for North Americans to experience. The Yucatan Peninsula could make for an ideal fall vacation spot –– and an even better place to gather for this event!

7. April 8th, 2024

One of the most highly anticipated upcoming eclipses is the April 2024 total solar eclipse. The path of totality will fall through the central United States –– including 13 states –– Eastern Canada, and Central Mexico. Even a slice of Western Europe will be included in its path, so you could plan a European vacation around it!

8. October 2nd, 2024

annular-solar-eclipse

Another annular solar eclipse which falls in the Southern parts of South America, near the Patagonia region, and includes Antarctica. This is another event on our list of upcoming eclipses that is somewhat remote, so be sure to plan carefully if you want to experience it!

9. February 17, 2026

While this event will pass directly over Antarctica as well, you can also experience it from the Southern tip of South America or Southern Africa –– including Madagascar! Plan accordingly, however, as some of the regions where the event will be most visible are difficult to get to.

10. August 12th, 2026

Yet another highly anticipated upcoming eclipse, the 2026 total solar eclipse is fairly accessible from the United States, with the path of totality crossing through the Northern states. The most highly visible region in North America will be in Greenland and Iceland, while Spain and France will also get a good view of the celestial phenomenon.

Plan For Your Upcoming Eclipse Event

It’s never too early to start planning for your eclipse event –– from travel considerations to proper eclipse gear. At Rainbow Symphony, we design and manufacture ISO and CE Certified eclipse shades and viewers so you can safely observe the event on the big day. Don’t wait until the last minute; get the eclipse gear that eclipse chasers around the world trust by placing your order today!

Planning Your Eclipse Travel: What You Should Know

viewing-solar-eclipse

The only thing better than experiencing the wonder and awe of a solar eclipse is doing so surrounded by fellow eclipse enthusiasts! When there is an upcoming eclipse on the horizon, eclipse travelers around the world descend on the path of totality to collectively share in these magical moments.

Whether you’re preparing for your first solar eclipse event or you’re a veteran eclipse chaser, planning your journey is a crucial step to ensuring that you get the most out of the experience. Here are a few helpful tips for planning your eclipse trip!

Know When and Where To Go

This first tip may seem obvious, but it is important to know when your target eclipse occurs and exactly where you need to be. While the eclipse may be visible across a large region –– Central America, for example –– the path of totality and the maximum visibility will typically fall in a more specific, defined geographic area. What’s more is that this area may be some distance from major cities and airports, so be sure to do your research well ahead of time.

Book Early

Don’t wait until the last minute to book flights, bus tickets, hotels, or other accommodations. If this is your first time planning eclipse travel, you may be surprised to discover just how many other passionate eclipse chasers there are out there!

That means that hotels, motels, and AirBnbs are bound to be booked well in advance; in areas with excellent visibility within the path of totality where thousands of people are expected to congregate, you may need to plan six months to a year in advance. During total solar eclipses, some small towns have reported being booked out two years in advance!

Find Your Vantage Point –– and Check the Weather!

eclipse-trip-planning

Once you know where you plan to experience the solar eclipse and you’ve booked your lodging, you’ll want to seek out a vantage point where you can get a great view. You may consult with astronomers or seasoned eclipse chasers to determine where in the area are the best spots to set up shop on the big day.

However, one vantage point may not be enough! It is always a good idea to have a backup plan in case of inclement weather; cloudy skies can ruin your eclipse travel plans if you don’t have an emergency gameplan. If the weather isn’t going to cooperate in your first choice location, you want to have a second choice lined up –– and a full tank of gas to get you there in time!

Join the Party

Whenever there is a solar eclipse on the horizon, you’d better believe eclipse chasers around the world are planning eclipse parties and hosting other community-building events in the major cities within the path of totality. Leading up to the event, you’ll likely find forums and lists of events you can attend to meet fellow eclipse enthusiasts, from amateur stargazers to professional astronomers. You can make new friends and become part of this ever-growing community that boasts members from across the globe!

Make the Most of Your Eclipse Travel

While your eclipse trip revolves around the big event, you don’t have to sit on your hands until the Moon starts to make its move! Take the opportunity to explore the city or town you’re in and learn something about the local culture. Whether it’s a state you’ve never been to or a country you never dreamed of visiting, now is your chance to explore!

Get the Gear You Need

eclipse-travel

Last but not least, make sure you have everything you need to safely and comfortably experience the solar eclipse. This includes everything from folding chairs to sunscreen; a comfortable pair of walking shoes, hats, sunglasses, and rain jackets –– just in case.

Of course, you must have proper gear to safely observe the eclipse. This includes CE and ISO Certified eclipse glasses, shades, and viewers like those we offer at Rainbow Symphony!

If you’re a photographer, you’ll need specialized solar filters to safely observe and photograph the eclipse. These filters come in a range of millimeter sizes to match your preferred lens, and can also be used for binoculars and telescopes.

If you’re ready to prepare for your eclipse trip, browse our selection of quality eclipse gear and place your order online! We offer discounts for bulk orders, such as those made for classrooms or parties, and can even create customized eclipse glasses featuring your brand colors or logo. Simply reach out to us at support@rainbowsymphony.com today to learn more.

The Solar System for Kids: 3 Famous Solar Astronomers

Kids astronomy solar system

Today, kids studying astronomy and the solar system benefit from modern technology, sophisticated telescopes, affordable solar astronomy tools, and centuries of observation to better understand the relationship between the entire solar system, the sun, and the earth.

But hundreds of years ago, there were only a few scientists who were bold enough to challenge the accepted theories of the solar system. Let’s take a look at three of the most important early solar astronomers –– Copernicus, Brahe, and Kepler –– and understand their contributions to our study of the stars!

Nicolaus Copernicus

Copernicus painting

Nicolaus Copernicus was a Prussian mathematician who lived during the Renaissance, from 1473-1543. Copernicus was one of the first astronomers to argue that the Earth revolved around the Sun –– and not the other way around! This heliocentric theory of the universe was extremely controversial at the time, especially because it threatened commonly accepted religious views that God had placed the Earth at the center of the universe.

Copernicus developed his theory using extensive sets of astronomical tables and scientific proofs, and built his theory on earlier theories proposed by Plato, Aristarchus of Samos, and the Pythagoreans. One of the most important clues was the movement of Venus and Mercury in relation to the Sun; astronomers of the time observed that these planets moved as if “tethered” to the Sun, with some movement ‘forwards’ and ‘backwards’ over time. This sparked the idea that it was the Sun, not the Earth, which controlled the movement of the planets in the solar system –– including our own.

Copernicus developed his ideas for decades, even working on his book in which he planned to publish them up until the day he died –– literally! It is rumored that, when Copernicus became ill in 1543, he eventually slipped into a coma, only to wake up and review the final pages of his book one last time before passing away. That book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), was not exactly an astronomy book about the solar system written for kids, but it did eventually change the way future generations thought about the relationship between the Earth and the Sun. This fundamental shift in thinking is known as the Copernican Revolution!

Tycho Brahe

Tycho brahe portrait

While Nicolaus Copernicus devised his heliocentric theory based on existing studies of the solar system, most of his contribution to our understanding of astronomy was through re-examining that data.

Tycho Brahe, a Danish astronomer and contemporary of Copernicus, left his mark on the field of astronomy by conducting thousands of observations, studies, and experiments of his own. Brahe believed that more careful observations could lead to better data, and better data could lead to more accurate models of the solar system.

Among Brahe’s most significant breakthroughs was his observation and measurement of a new star within the Cassiopeia constellation. In 1572, Brahe was studying the constellation when he thought he noticed a new star –– a hunch he confirmed by using a measurement tool called a sextant. What was so extraordinary was that, at the time, it was believed that the realm of the stars was “perfect,” unable to be changed.

Brahe’s new belief that, in fact, new stars could appear within the celestial realm was validated with the appearance of a comet in 1577. Brahe tracked the movement of the comet and determined that it was soaring through the “spheres” of various planets and the Moon.

Brahe used these observations, and others, to develop his new model for the solar system. The Tycho Brahe solar system model suggested that all of the planets revolved around the Sun… but that the Sun and the Moon (and therefore all of the planets, as well) orbited the Earth. In other words, according to Brahe, the Earth was still the center of the universe, but the rest of the planets revolved around the Sun.

The fact that Brahe still believed the Earth to be at the center of the universe has opened him up to some retrospective scrutiny; some scientists say it was a step backwards for astronomy. However, other scientists appreciate that Brahe was accounting for something called ‘stellar parallax’. This is the phenomenon of the stars in the sky maintaining their position despite the Earth moving around the Sun and not the other way around. While it is true that Brahe wasn’t exactly correct in his theory of the solar system, he at least proposed another way of looking at it –– and at the time, that in and of itself was revolutionary thinking.

Johannes Kepler

Johannes kepler portrait

Johannes Kepler was a student of Brahe who became a famous astronomer in his own right. Kepler combined elements of astronomy, mathematics, science, and astrology. According to Kepler, Tycho Brahe’s solar system theories didn’t go far enough in accounting for what he saw as a harmony which connected all things in the universe. For Kepler, geometry and physics were just as important as astrology and mysticism.

In 1609, Kepler published Astronomie Nova, in which he laid out his observations of Mars and its orbital shape. This is one of the first accounts of an oblong planetary orbit versus a perfectly circular orbit. In addition to changing the thinking of how planets moved –– elliptical rather than circular –– Kepler also offered one of the first instances of a theory that a force of attraction helped organize celestial bodies. This work laid the groundwork for what would become a fundamental theory of physics and something that all kids studying astronomy and the solar system have heard of: gravity!

Continue Your Study of the Stars

Rainbow Symphony wants to encourage the next generation of famous solar astronomers! If you’re a kid interested in astronomy and the solar system, explore our collection of eclipse gear, diffraction glasses, and other educational tools designed to help you make discoveries of your own.

Who knows? You may even challenge some astronomical theories of your own!