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Cincinnati Observatory preparing Tri-State for solar eclipse this summer

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - In just under 6 months, there will be a solar eclipse in the Tri-State and total solar eclipse just to our south and west. Staff from the Cincinnati Observatory in Mt. Lookout held an open house earlier this week to educate the community on how to view the eclipse safely.

"This is something we haven't had in 38 years, so we are getting people excited and people prepared for it," said Dean Regas, the Outreach Astronomer at the Cincinnati Observatory.

Part of that safety education involves protecting your eyes.

Regas explained, "In Cincinnati, the sun is going to be about 90% blocked by the moon, so you have to get some safety glasses, some solar eclipse shades, or #14 Welder's Glasses."

Whether viewing the partial eclipse here or the total eclipse to the west and south, Regas said not using protective eyewear can have harmful consequences.

"Your eyes are like little, miniature telescopes, so when the sunlight comes through, it goes down to a point or focuses to a point. When you're looking at the sun, it could really damage your eyes. It's like burning the back of your eyes with a magnifying glass," Regas said.

Just a reminder: you can have the best telescope for viewing and have glasses ready, but Dean wants to remind you that the weather has to cooperate, meaning there has to be little to no cloud cover for you to see the eclipse.

Regas explained, "Sun and clear skies are really good. If you have some high, thin clouds, that should be okay, but you really just want to avoid clouds altogether."

For those in the classroom, the Cincinnati Observatory wants make sure students and teachers have the tools see this rare phenomenon.

"If you're a teacher and going to be in school that day and you can't get out of school, contact us and we'll help you out so you can some solar viewing so you can share safe views with your students," said Regas. Educators can reach out to the Cincinnati Observatory by going to www.cincinnatiobservatory.org.

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