Your last-minute guide to Monday’s eclipse | MyWindsorNow.com

Your last-minute guide to Monday’s eclipse

Tommy Wood
twood@greeleytribune.com

You may have heard North America will experience a total solar eclipse Monday, the first coast-to-coast eclipse over the United States in a century. The Tribune published a how-to of watching the eclipse several weeks ago, but if you missed that, here's a last-minute guide with everything you need to know.

What are eclipse glasses, and where can I get them?

Eclipse glasses are basically powerful sunglasses that let you look directly at the sun without damaging your eyes. They'll be provided at the events listed below, but you can get them ahead of time at many local retailers such as King Soopers, Wal-Mart and Target.

Can I watch the eclipse through my sunglasses instead of eclipse glasses?

No.

I've heard that not all eclipse glasses are created equal. How do I know I have the right kind?

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If they're labeled ISO 12312-2. Nothing else meets the international safety standard, and if you watch the eclipse through substandard glasses you'll regret it.

The following brands have been verified: American Paper Optics; APM Telescopes; Baader Planetarium; Celestron; DayStar; Explore Scientific; Halo Solar Eclipse Spectacles; Jaxy Optical Equipment; Lunt Solar Systems; Meade Instruments; Rainbow Symphony; Seymour Solar; Solar Eclipse International; Thousand Oaks Optical; TSE 17.

Can I still go to Wyoming to watch it?

At your wallet's peril. According to Expedia.com, Casper, the Wyoming town that's become a massive eclipse destination, has five hotel rooms left. The cheapest is $1,250 per night. Pickings are similarly slim on Airbnb; people are renting out their yards as tent space now. Official campsites have been full for some time.

I want to go up there anyway. How bad will the traffic be?

Bad. Wyoming's population is expected to double for the eclipse, and a lot of those people will be getting there on Interstate 25 and U.S. 85. Those roads, especially, will be nightmares, but check with the Colorado Department of Transportation for the most up-to-date info.

"Imagine six Denver Broncos games all getting out at the same time on the same highway to go home," CDOT said in a news release.

If you do get on the road, make sure you have enough gas to deal with the delays, along with food and water in case you're stuck in one spot for an extended period. Don't park on the side of the road or in the median to watch it.

Where can I watch the eclipse locally?

» Lory State Park has two guided hikes to see it, one up the Arthur's Rock trail and the other on the Horsetooth Reservoir shoreline trail. Both will leave the Arthur's Rock parking area at 11 a.m. The hikes are limited to 20 people each, and reservations are required. Reservations come with a free pair of eclipse glasses; more will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. There also will be materials for kids to make pinhole viewers and solar clocks. Call the park visitors' center at (970) 493-1623 to register.

» UNC will host a viewing party in front of Michener Library, 14th Avenue and 20th Street, starting at 9:30 a.m. Glasses will be provided — UNC spokesperson Nate Haas said the university should have a "good number" available to the public — as will materials to make pinhole viewers. There also will be lectures about the importance of eclipses in mythology, literature and scientific research. Free glasses also will be available at the corner of 10th Avenue and 20th Street. The caveat, of course, is parking on campus isn't free.

» The Poudre Learning Center, 8313 W. F St., will host an event starting at 10 a.m. that will help children understand eclipses through interactive activities, such as using a globe, model moon and flashlight to demonstrate the eclipse's path over the earth. There also will be all-ages activities, including measuring temperature changes during the eclipse, documenting its speed and projecting its stages. Glasses will be provided.

» Every student in Greeley-Evans School District 6 will receive a free pair of eclipse glasses at school. Parents who want to take their kids out of school to view the eclipse elsewhere must get permission from teachers or the principal.

» Aims Community College will host viewing events at all of its campuses beginning at 10 a.m. Eclipse glasses will be provided. At Aims' Greeley campus, 5401 20th St., the viewing party will be in the outdoor classroom north of the College Center. At its Windsor campus, 1120 Southgate Drive, the party will be in the green space between the Public Safety Institute and the automotive building.

» Ehrlich Toyota is putting on a viewing party at its location at 4732 26th St. starting at 10:23 a.m. It'll have free eclipse glasses, snow cones and prize giveaways.

What will the weather be like?

In both Casper and Greeley, it will be in the mid-80s, with a 20 percent chance of precipitation. It is supposed to be sunny in both places "with some clouds." So it looks OK so far.

Ok, I'm staying. What will it look like from Greeley?

Colorado is outside the path of totality, the 70-mile-wide swath that will experience total darkness, but in Greeley the sun will still be 95 percent obscured. That won't darken things here as much as you may think. There will be some reduction of daylight, but the sun is so bright that even just 5 percent of its light is enough to illuminate the area.

That also means you need to keep your eclipse glasses on at all times. Eclipses are only safe to view with unprotected eyes during totality.

When is the best time to see the eclipse here?

The eclipse will begin at 10:23 a.m. in Greeley. The moon will cover most of the sun. It will reach its maximum at 11:47 a.m., and it will end at 1:14 p.m., having lasted 2 hours and 51 minutes.

Is Bonnie Tyler singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" during the eclipse?

Darn right she is. On a cruise ship in the path of totality. With Joe Jonas and DNCE as her backing band.

Should I sing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at any point during the eclipse?

Sure, why not?

— Tommy Wood covers recreation, outdoor and adventure sports for The Tribune. You can reach him at twood@greeleytribune.com, (970) 392-4470 or on Twitter @woodstein72.

Don’t want to burn your retinas?

Can’t find eclipse glasses? Here’s how to make a viewer from a cereal box:

» You’ll need a cereal box, glue stick, piece of white paper, thumbtack, scissors, aluminum foil and tape.

» Cut off a strip of paper that fits the bottom of the cereal box.

» Glue the paper to the inside of the bottom of the box. This will be your viewing screen.

» On the top of the box, cut off the ends of the box tabs; that should leave you with an opening on each side at top.

» Tape a small piece of aluminum foil over one of the openings.

» Poke a hole in the foil with the thumbtack.

» When you’re ready to watch the eclipse, stand with your back to the sun, letting it shine on the aluminum foil side, and look through the opening. The sun should appear on the white strip of paper at the bottom of the box.