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Safe and fun ways to view next week's solar eclipse

Dean Regas Demostrating How To Use Eclipse Glasses

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - We're one week away from a rare science treat: an eclipse across the United States, including here in the Tri-State.

"It's going to be a total eclipse for people in places like Kentucky, Tennesee, and South Carolina, but in Cincinnati it's only going to be a partial eclipse. We're going to have about 90% of the sun blocked out by the moon," said Dean Regas, the outreach astronomer for the Cincinnati Observatory.

There's still time to get approved eclipse glasses or find shade 14 welders glasses, but Regas says there are other save viewing methods.

Regas said, "You can also do it simplier and cheaper, too. You can just put a pinhole in a piece of paper, let the light come through onto the ground, and you'll actually see an image of the eclipse."

You can also use binoculars but not the way you normally use them.

"You have your back to the sun, and you hold the binoculars in front of you, let the sunlight come backwards through the binoculars, and down onto the ground. You can focus it if you can hold your hands just steady enough, you can get the sun to come right through there," explained Regas.

If you're feeling more crafty, you might try making a sun funnel.

"Take a normal telescope and add a longer funnel to it. We got ours at a hardware store. We had the eyepiece go through it, and it can project an image of the sun onto wax paper or projection screen material," said Regas.

The Cincinnati Observatory in Mt. Lookout will be open from noon to 4pm next Monday for the eclipse.

Regas explained, "We're going to have some safe viewing methods: eclipse glasses, welders glasses, and the sun funnel."

Whether you view the eclipse safely at home or at the Cincinnati Observatory, don't forget: weather plays a part in this. A cloudy day means we won't see much.

"Even if it's going to be 90% blocked, you won't notice anything if they are clouds. We're hoping for good weather in Cincinnati," said Regas.

Rain or shine, August 21st is the perfect day to learn about safety and space.

Regas said, "This could be a really great moment, a great teachable moment, for people of all ages to get inspired by science."

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