much as ten percent of the American population is going to have a crack at it. They’re
all going to be taking to the internet saying “this is the most amazing thing I’ve
ever seen,” and others are going to say “hey,
why didn’t I hear about this beforehand?”
NASA’s trying to get the word out but, the
media is just not covering it.
TOS: How can people prepare?
Jay: This is the sort of thing where people
should have reservations in place and a specific destination in mind. I strongly discourage anyone from thinking they’re going to get
in their car and drive . . . because if enough
people do that, it’s going to be chaos. I suggest
leaving the Saturday before to avoid traffic.
TOS: What are some misconceptions
about a total eclipse?
Jay: The big one is that people think, “I
have a 90 percent eclipse at my house so
why should I bother driving a couple hours
to get to where it’s 100 percent?” You actu-
ally need to be along that path if you want
to see it. Even 99 percent doesn’t cut it. Peo-
ple don’t understand you can look directly
at the sun during a total solar eclipse with
no harm because the bright part of the sun,
what they call the photosphere, is completely
covered. All you see during a total eclipse is
the amazing solar corona which is like this
pearlescent, wispy, cotton candy crown that
surrounds the sun. It’s a mind-blowing sight.
Photography cannot really capture it. The
corona is a very amazing, very rare thing. So
as far as misconceptions go, people think if
they’re at less than 100 percent, they don’t
need to travel. Another misconception is
people think there are invisible, dangerous
eclipse rays that somehow damage your
eyes. There’s no such thing.
TOS: Any parting thoughts?
Jay: What I’m hoping homeschoolers will
do, if they live on or near the path, is invite
friends and family to stay at their house or
camp in their backyard. I’m calling it eclipse
hospitality. It would be great if we could get
as many kids as possible to see this. If you’re
paying for a curriculum, then the travel ex-
penses should be considered toward your
curriculum costs. It’s that important from a
science education standpoint. Get yourself
on that path.
And because of the way the heavenly
bodies work, there will be five solar eclipses over the United States over the next 35
years. This one, one in 2024, and then three
in a row in 2044, 2045, and 2052. So today’s
young kids might be in high school for the
next one, and have kids of their own when
that last trio of eclipses happen within an
eight-year period. So this is an American
eclipse generation who will get to see several of these during their lifetime.
Kathleen Conway is a freelance editor for
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. She
received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Virginia and
Master of Arts in Mass Communication
from the University of Georgia. She spent 20
years as a writer, producer and reporter for
CNN and HLN (formerly Headline News).
She’s married to KC, has two stepdaughters,
Katie, 21, and Grace, 16, and a 6-year-old
son named Luke. They live in Lilburn, Georgia, outside of Atlanta.
Jay Ryan is a homeschool dad in Cleveland,
Ohio and the author of Signs & Seasons, a
homeschool astronomy curriculum. Sign up
for his FREE astronomy email newsletter at
ClassicalAstronomy.com. For more information on the 2017 eclipse, visit his website
Creation Science • Summer 2017 109
A Specialized Text To Boost Reading Fluency & Skill
You can look directly
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at the sun during a
total solar eclipse with
no harm because
the bright part of the
sun, what they call
the photosphere, is