Standing in the Light: Rainbow Symphony Blog

7 of the Best Locations for Viewing the Solar Eclipse in 2024

Best Location

Think it’s too early to start looking for the best location for the next solar eclipse? Think again! The 2017 total eclipse was the first total solar eclipse viewable in the United States in the age of Instagram. Because of this, the coverage of the event was elevated to an absolute frenzy. Eager eclipse viewers were willing to travel great distances to view the occurrence in the path of totality. So, no, it’s definitely not too early to begin thinking about the best places to see the 2024 solar eclipse.

Thankfully, for avid eclipse watchers, there are some major American cities directly in the April 8, 2024 path of totality. So, while it may be too early to make hotel reservations for the upcoming eclipse, doing some basic planning will put you ahead of the pack. Consider checking out some of these all-American cities when planning your best location for the next solar eclipse.

1. Dallas, Texas

Although the state capital of Austin is also in the path of totality, the Dallas metroplex may very well be the best location for the next solar eclipse in the “Lone Star State.” The old saying “everything’s bigger in Texas” usually holds true, especially when it comes to big events. Dallas, Fort Worth, and its many suburbs are bustling with places to go and things to do before and after the eclipse.

To get into the Dallas-Fort Worth area, fly into either one of Dallas’ major airports: Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) or Love Field. Finding accommodations in the metroplex should be easier than many other areas due to the large number of hotels in the area.

2. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis knows how to handle big events. The Indianapolis 500, the crown jewel of American auto racing, is held at the mammoth Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Speedway is the largest sports venue in the world, with a total capacity around 400,000. You can be sure that Indianapolis can handle an influx of eclipse visitors, and it will rank highly on a list of best places to see a solar eclipse.

Heading to Indy? One of the best locations for the next solar eclipse is the extremely walkable and entertaining downtown district. If you’re looking for a more quiet, meditative eclipse experience, heading several miles out into the expansive Indiana farm country will still keep you directly in the path of totality.

3. Little Rock, Arkansas

Although Little Rock may not be high on your list as the best location for the next solar eclipse, it should be. Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, has gone through a renaissance of sorts over the past several years. There’s an abundance of parks and greenspace in the city, and the downtown core is easy to traverse with their historic Metro Streetcar trolley system.

Little Rock, Arkansas

After your eclipse viewing experience is over, take in some of the Southern charm that Little Rock has to offer. The city’s most well-known tourist destination is the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, but there are plenty of other exciting places to visit as well, like the Arkansas Arts Center.

4. Buffalo, New York

If you want to see the solar eclipse, one of the best places to see it will be Buffalo, New York. If you head to Buffalo, make sure you bring your jacket Although spring will already have sprung in Buffalo, it’s still cold in the area. In fact, the average low temperature on April 8th in Buffalo is an extremely brisk 34 degrees Fahrenheit, with the actual lows often getting below freezing. However, if you’re willing to withstand the elements, you’ll be treating yourself to possibly the best location for the next solar eclipse.

If you want the real Buffalo experience, make sure you get a plate (or more!) of Buffalo wings, which were first served at the Anchor Bar right in Buffalo. Although Anchor Bar is still serving up plates of their famous wings, locals will often tell you the best wings in town are actually at Duff’s Famous Wings. Try them both for a post-eclipse meal that’s uniquely Buffalo in style.

5. Cleveland, Ohio

The on-again, off-again basketball home of superstar LeBron James also ranks highly as the best location for the next solar eclipse. Cleveland has gone through a much-publicized revival over the past several years, and this city on the shores of Lake Erie has much to offer eclipse watchers.

Looking for things to do in Cuyahoga County before or after eclipse watching? How about a stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Early April will also mark the beginning of the Major League Baseball season, meaning catching a Cleveland Indians home game is a possibility as well. Is Cleveland too busy a city for your eclipse-watching purposes? Consider the nearby cities of Akron and Toledo, which are also in the path of totality.

6. Carbondale, Illinois

Although Carbondale will likely not be on many people’s lists for the best location for the next solar eclipse, it has a unique claim to fame that should get your attention. The city of 25,000, which is about a two-hour drive from St. Louis, was also in the path of totality for the 2017 solar eclipse. Carbondale is one of the few cities in America that will experience both eclipses. How rare is this? On average, a solar eclipse is seen from the same location once every 375 years. Talk about star-crossed!

7. Burlington, Vermont

Burlington is the largest city in Vermont, and has a unique mixture of urban and small-town vibes. Although Burlington is in one of the most remote areas of the country, eclipse watchers will fall in love with the “Queen City” located on beautiful Lake Champlain.

Burlington

If you’re wanting to watch the 2024 eclipse from Burlington, consider staying in one of the many historic inns located in the area. Also, for a unique side trip, bring your passport and visit the beautiful city of Montreal, Quebec (which itself also happens to be in the path of totality!).

Prepare Now for This Amazing Event!

Whatever you think the best place to see the solar eclipse may be, start getting your plans in order now. Hotels, flights, and rental cars will book quickly once reservations open, so having a game plan ready now will ensure you won’t miss out on one of nature’s most spectacular shows.

Also, don’t forget that you can’t view the eclipse with the naked eye. At Rainbow Symphony, we carry all the tools you need to make sure you can watch the eclipse safely, like eclipse glasses and solar filters for your camera or binoculars. Don’t wait until the last minute––stock up while you can!

Kaleidoscope Glasses and Other Must-Have Items for Your Next Rave

Kaleidoscope Glasses

If you’re heading to a rave or music festival, you’ve got to be prepared. There’s not much worse than arriving at a festival and realizing you didn’t bring what you needed. The next several hours will end up consisting of you having to borrow things from your much-more prepared friends.

We’ve put together a list of a few items you can bring along to make sure you have a fantastic experience. Consider this your official rave packing list!

1. Rave Kaleidoscope Glasses

Kaleidoscope sunglasses take light and bend it to create amazing sunburst and rainbow patterns that are sure to enhance your experience. They take an already great rave and make it a breathtaking sensory whirlwind. It’s next-level entertainment that you won’t want to do without.

Rave Kaleidoscope GlassesRave kaleidoscope glasses come in all shapes and styles. At Rainbow Symphony, we sell a wide variety, including longer-lasting plastic frames and single-use paper frames. One of our bestsellers is our plastic diffraction glasses, which is available in a wide variety of frame colors.

No matter what you choose, your glasses will turn an ordinary rave into an extraordinary one. As an added bonus, if you’re at an outdoor festival like Burning Man that has fireworks, your rave kaleidoscope glasses will add extra explosions of colors and patterns to the party. When it comes to kaleidoscope sunglasses, don’t leave home without them!

2. Portable Battery Pack and Charger Cable

A portable battery pack is a must-have for parties and festivals. You don’t want to be the person at the rave desperately looking for a plug in a wall to charge your phone. Then, you’ll either have to sit with your phone while it charges, or you’ll have to leave it and take the chance that someone will walk off with it. If you’re at an outdoor festival, you won’t even have a place to plug a charger, making the battery pack even more important.

Although you can buy portable battery packs fairly cheaply, resist the urge to buy the most inexpensive one available. Look for a pack with at least 10000mAh, which means it will be able to charge most devices a few times over. If you’re worried about losing your charging cable, you can also find portable battery packs with the charger cords built right in.

3. Fanny Pack

Keeping your personal items close by and secure can be a tricky issue. A purse or small bag can easily be left behind or stolen, so it’s not a good option. Also, depending on where you’re going, you may not be allowed to take a handbag into the club.

That’s why it’s essential that you invest in a small, durable fanny pack. There’s no better way to keep your money, ID, rave kaleidoscope glasses, and other personal items secured and close by. Plus, you’ll never leave it behind at a table or bathroom like you could with a bag.

4. Comfortable Shoes

Comfortable Shoes

You’ve got your rave kaleidoscope glasses on your head, but what do you have on your feet? When you’re thinking about the right kind of footwear for your next rave, think form and function. You want your shoes to be stylish and on-point, but you want to make sure they’re comfortable on your feet.

Make sure whatever shoes you pick have been worn a time or two before you head to the rave; the last thing you want is a blister from having to break in a new pair of flats. After all, you’ll be standing –– and dancing –– for hours at a time!

5. Burner Phone

Consider leaving your pricey smartphone that’s on a contract at your home or hotel and bring a cheaper burner phone instead. Why? Because if your regular phone is lost or stolen, you’ll likely have suffered a significant financial loss. Not a great way to end the night! Instead, keeping a burner phone handy will protect you from loss. Plus, if you want to give your number to someone, you can give that number instead of your regular one. It’s an extra layer of protection that’s worth the investment.

Rainbow Symphony is Your Kaleidoscope Sunglasses Headquarters

Going to a rave should be an exciting night of heart-pounding music, good friends, and exciting experiences. Rainbow Symphony has the selection of rave kaleidoscope glasses that will make your night one that you’ll never forget. Place your order online today!

Rave Shades For EDM Concerts: Add Some Fireworks to Your Next Festival

We all know that half of the fun of an EDM concert is dressing up for it. Furry boots, neon backpacks, and face paint are optional, but proper rave shades are an absolute must to complete the electronic dance experience.

Rave Shades For Every Occasion And Outfit

At Rainbow Symphony, you’ll find a wide array of EDM Glasses for your next big concert. Our Plastic Rainbow Fireworks Glasses® use the highest quality hard plastic holographic lenses to diffract every laser and light into a shower of magical rainbow starbursts. These stylish wayfarers are available in a multitude of colors, including red, pink, green, orange, white, blue, black, and clear.

Seeking a more futuristic aesthetic? Then you’ll want to check out our LaserSpex™ Plastic Rainbow Fireworks Glasses®, which come in a pack of four different glow in the dark colors and will give a distinctively sci-fi touch to your look.

If your future’s so bright that you gotta wear (extra) shades, you may want to pick up a pair of Double Rainbow Double Flip Up Diffraction Fireworks Glasses to give yourself a double dose of awesome color. Or, if you’d prefer to take a trip back to the 1980s instead, our four pack of Gems™ 3D Plastic Rainbow Fireworks Glasses may be more up your alley. These large glow in the dark rave shades are comfortable, lightweight, and guaranteed to help you stand out from the rest of the crowd.

A Club Experience That Can’t Be Beat

The gorgeous visual effects in clubs and EDM concerts are amplified ten-fold through the lenses of rave shades. Yes, rainbow sunglasses are a key component of EDM fashion, but they’re just as functional as they are stylish.’

Cheap neon-colored bracelets aren’t necessarily built to last all night long, but rave shades will stick with you even as you dance up a storm. They’re affixed to your face and they’re not going anywhere, unless you want to let another raver take them for a spin.

Turn up the color as you transform brilliant light displays into a kaleidoscope of magnificent rainbow wonder.

Rave Shades: Don’t Leave Home Without Them

No trip to Electric Daisy Carnival, Day Glow Festival, Burning Man, or Life in Color is complete without a proper pair of rave shades. Best of all, these glasses from Rainbow Symphony can also be used to take other fireworks displays, light shows, New Year’s Eve parties, and laser-intense events to the next level. These EDM glasses are more than just a fun party prop, they’re a must-have to illuminate good times and bring out the rainbow spectrum anywhere.

* * *

Have a question about our rave shades and EDM glasses? Contact Rainbow Symphony by phone today at 818-708-8400, or by email at rainbowsymphony@rainbowsymphony.com

 

 

How To Watch A Solar Eclipse: 5 Tips for an Unforgettable Experience

Few occurrences in nature can rival the jaw-dropping beauty of a solar eclipse. Solar eclipses should not be missed, but they should also not be viewed without the proper safety measures in mind. Here’s a guide on how to watch a solar eclipse from the experts here at Rainbow Symphony:

1. Protect Your Eyes

There are a number of ways to enjoy a solar eclipse (and we’ll get into those here), but the most important thing to remember is that you cannot view an eclipse without the proper equipment to protect your eyes. Watching a solar eclipse can cause irreparable damage to your vision if you are not wearing solar eclipse viewing glasses.

A solar eclipse will give off a hazardous amount of visible light along with harmful levels of ultraviolet and infrared waves. Before totality, the sun’s brilliant solar surface emerges, which can cause severe retinal damage. While our natural instinct would be to look away at this point, serious damage can occur in a matter of seconds. Simply put, there is no justification for viewing an eclipse without the proper protection for your eyes.

Fortunately, solar eclipse glasses are largely inexpensive, though not all of them are made equally. It’s imperative to only use solar eclipse viewing glasses that meet ISO (International Organization for Standardization) protocols. Lesser glasses cannot be counted upon to give you the proper safeguards against harmful rays, which could lead to a lifetime of unfortunate consequences.

All of the Eclipse Shades® sold by Rainbow Symphony meet ISO 12312-2 standards, meaning that you can view the marvel of a solar eclipse with complete peace of mind. The lenses of these specialty solar viewers are made from a patented scratch-resistant material with grade five optical density to guarantee ultimate protection from harmful solar radiation.

The lenses of the solar eclipse viewing glasses contain “Black Polymer,” a flexible resin infused with carbon particles, to filter out 99.999% of intense visible light and 100% of ultraviolet light and infrared light. The premium filters display an orange-colored image of the sun for the viewer that is both easier to see and sharper than the unfiltered view. Our dedication to quality ensures a safe and worry-free solar eclipse experience that will be remembered for a lifetime.

Our complete line includes a wide range of styles, designed to fit eclipse-chasers of any group or budget size. For a smaller bunch –– or one that is willing to share, we offer Plastic Eclipse Glasses in both traditional and wrap-around goggle variations. For a less expensive alternative, educators may want to look into our Eclipse Shades® Safe Solar Glasses. There are innumerable options to choose from the Rainbow Symphony website, starting as low as $0.45 per piece for large bulk orders.

Demand for glasses tends to spike in the days leading up to a solar eclipse, so be sure to stock up well in advance.

2. Find The Best Place To View The Eclipse

Solar eclipses don’t happen all that often and total solar eclipses are exceptionally rare. To take in this unique experience, you’ll want to view the eclipse from the best location possible.

In some instances, that may mean traveling. In July of 2019, a total solar eclipse will take place in the southern Pacific Ocean, just north of the Pitcairn Islands. Before the eclipse hits, locals and tourists will flock to Chile, Argentina, as well as ships in the nearby waters. Then, in December of 2020, another solar eclipse will return to the area around South America with visibility from select portions of Argentina and Chile. After that, there will be a total solar eclipse in Antarctica (good luck to those hoping to see that one) and a hybrid eclipse occuring in Indonesia and a tiny portion of Australia.

For those of you in North America who aren’t planning on traveling across the world for a total eclipse, we have wonderful news. On April 8, 2024, there will be a total eclipse crossing Mexico, several states stretching from Texas to Maine, and into eastern Canada. The expected duration is roughly four and a half minutes, which is longer than many total solar eclipses that we’ve seen in the past.

Of course, making the appropriate travel plans (if needed) and finding the best possible place for viewing is paramount when considering how to watch a solar eclipse. The quality of your eclipse viewing experience may vary from state to state, but there are other factors to keep in mind.

Ideally, you’ll want to view the eclipse where the width of the moon’s shadow is widest and the altitude of the sun in the sky is at or near its peak. That combination will help to provide the longest duration of totality possible. Those extra seconds made all the difference in 2017 for some as the eclipse’s longest run clocked in at about two minutes and forty seconds.

It's also wise to avoid areas with excessive light pollution. By looking at nighttime satellite images of specific areas, you can quickly determine which towns and cities give off the most light.

Locations with higher altitude can also provide better views of the shadow’s path. Being at higher altitude may also provide the advantage of being above valley fog, low clouds, or other air pollution. If a mountain location is a viable option, it’s something for eclipse chasers to heavily consider.

3. Pack A Lunch!

If you’re planning on viewing the eclipse from a more rustic locale, you’ll want to be well-stocked on the essentials. Obviously, that includes water and food for short-term visits and toiletries and other camping essentials for longer trips. You’re unlikely to find a hot dog or pretzel vendor nearby if you’re viewing the solar eclipse from high atop a mountain.

However, if you’re fortunate enough to view the eclipse from the comfort of your backyard, near your workplace, or your school’s blacktop, then you probably won’t need much more than solar eclipse viewing glasses and/or solar viewers.

4. Teach Your Kids Or Students About Eclipse Basics

Younger children might not fully realize the dangers of viewing an eclipse without solar eclipse viewing glasses, meaning that parents and educators must emphasize the risks involved and the proper protocol required. Of course, this doesn’t need to be entirely tedious or boring.

Moms, dads, and teachers can prepare students for the eclipse with fun lessons in the days leading up to it. For example, you can create your own “eclipse” at home or in the classroom. All you need is a flashlight in the dark and some props from Phys. Ed class or the garage, such a tennis ball and volleyball to represent the Earth, Sun, and Moon. This way, you can teach kids about the basic mechanics of the eclipse while underscoring the importance of eclipse glasses and other safety measures.

5. For An Extra-Special View, Pick Up The Proper Telescope

Quality telescopes tend to be expensive, but there are exceptions. The Galileoscope™, which was developed by a team of leading optical engineers, astronomers, and science educators, offers tremendous capability at a phenomenally affordable price. This telescope kit is easy to assemble and offers value for students and stargazers even beyond the solar eclipse.

Powered by a 25- to 50-power achromatic refractor, The Galileoscope™ allows for viewing of lunar craters and mountains, the four moons circling Jupiter, Saturn's rings, the phases of Venus, and incalculable stars that are impossible to view with the naked eye.

The Final Step: Relax And Enjoy!

Now that you know how to watch a solar eclipse, all that’s left to do is to sit back and marvel at one of nature’s most spectacular phenomenons. The dangers of viewing an eclipse without the proper safety measures may seem alarming, but there’s nothing to fear with the proper equipment in tow.

The temptation to take the perfect picture of the eclipse and share it on social media may be tempting, but it’s important to remember that there will be scores of other people - including professionals - also photographing the event. Instead of missing out on this miraculous occurrence, you would be well served to sit back and enjoy the moment. After all, the memory of this rare occasion will stay with you for a lifetime.

* * *

Have a question about how to watch a solar eclipse or which style of solar eclipse viewing glasses is right for you? Contact the Rainbow Symphony customer service team by phone today at 818-708-8400, or by email at rainbowsymphony@rainbowsymphony.com

The Science of Diffraction: What is the Diffraction of Light?

The Science of Diffraction

Light waves are known to behave in one of three ways when they reach the boundary of a medium. That is, the end of one medium and/or the beginning of another. They are either reflected, refracted, or diffracted.

  • Diffraction is the phenomenon in which a wave changes direction as it bends around an object in its path or passes through an opening.
  • Reflection occurs when a wave comes into contact with a surface, bounces off the surface, and is redirected back into its original medium.
  • Refraction is the change in direction a wave undergoes as it passes from one physical medium into another. For example, the direction change when a wave passes from water to air.

These phenomena are not unique to visible light waves. In fact, they can be observed for any wave, including sound waves, water waves, or any wave in the electromagnetic spectrum. However, this blog will focus on the wonders of diffraction of visible light waves.

Light Diffraction is a complex topic, but at Rainbow Symphony, we take great pride in being a gateway to the joys of science for learners at all levels. We’ll take you step-by-step through the basics and show you how you can do your own fun experiments and learn the science of diffraction.

Huygen’s Principle

Let’s start with Huygen’s Principle. Christiaan Huygens was a brilliant Dutch physicist, mathematician, inventor, and astronomer, known especially for his contributions to optics and mechanics. The explanations for all three phenomena of light wave behavior are rooted in Huygen’s principle, which states that every point on a wavefront is a source of wavelets, which spread forward at the same speed.

What is Visible Light?

All electromagnetic waves are light, but only light from a certain section of the electromagnetic spectrum is visible to the human eye. Electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between 380 nm and 760 nm is visible to the human eye. This range is referred to as the visible light spectrum. On the electromagnetic spectrum, the visible light spectrum falls between infrared and ultraviolet waves. The visible effects of diffraction are most pronounced when the length of the opening through which the wave is passing is close to the light’s wavelength.

Examples of Light Diffraction in Nature

Examples of light diffraction can be seen in nature every day! Take, for instance, a cloud’s ‘silver lining’. This visual effect is a result of sunlight bending around the edge of the cloud. The various colors sometimes observed in clouds is another example of light being diffracted, this time by the clouds water droplets. This is called cloud iridescence and is most often observed in cirrocumulus, altocumulus, lenticular, and cirrus clouds. The different colors illustrate how waves of different wavelengths are diffracted differently and ‘scattered’.

Light Diffraction in Nature

Another great example of light diffraction in nature are the rings of light (corona) observed around the sun and other celestial bodies. This is caused by light wave diffraction by small particles in the atmosphere. Even the sky’s apparent blue color, is an example of light diffraction at work. When sunlight hits the earth’s atmosphere, colors of longer wavelengths simply pass through. However, blue, which has a relatively short wavelength, diffracts and scatters upon collision with the atmosphere’s molecules.

Diffraction Grating

You can observe light’s color spectrum by viewing a light source through a diffraction grating in a dark room. A diffraction grating is used to separate light into its constituent colors. It is an arrangement of a large number of equidistant parallel narrow scratches of equal width which are separated by equal opaque sections.

Just as Huygen’s principle states, when a light wave comes in contact with a diffraction grating, the light disperses, forming many point sources with their centers at each slit. Constructive and destructive interference between the ‘new’ light waves occur where their valleys and peaks meet or oppose each other, respectively.

Constructive interference occurs in different directions for different colors due to the differing wavelengths of the colors that make up the visible spectrum. Based on this, we can point a diffraction grating at a white light source and view the different colors in the spectrum.

Shop Our Store Today

Explore the selection of fun products at the Rainbow Symphony store to continue your exploration of light diffraction, including our diffraction glasses and rainbow suncatchers. We also carry three types of diffraction grating slides: the double axis 13,500 line/in diffraction grating slide, the linear 1000 line/mm diffraction grating slide, and the linear 500 line/mm diffraction grating slide.

Contact our team at Rainbow Symphony today for help adding splashes of color to your life and turning experiences from ordinary to extraordinary. Also, keep checking our blog for stimulating discussions on all things relating to light and color.