Since ancient times, solar eclipses, like the one due over North America on August 21, have inspired fear and wonder. Ancient people in what is now Asia and the Middle East thought that an eclipse indicated the attack of a sky or sun god, and made loud noises or created offerings to scare and appease whatever was threatening their god.
Today, that fear has been replaced by awe, the feeling of being in the presence of something larger than ones self. We often experience awe in the natural world, and during the unexplainable or communal. Perhaps the 2017 solar eclipse will involve all of the above! (Awe and its many benefits to the human spirit have been explored by The Greater Good Science Center.)
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the earth and the sun and temporarily blocks the view of the sun. The 2017 solar eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental U.S. in 38 years. Read more about how eclipses work.
If you’re ready to create some awe and memories of your own when the solar eclipse occurs on August 21, check out these links:
How to view the eclipse safely and what to expect, from Space.com
An animation that shows exactly what the solar eclipse will look like from your zip code, from TIME.com.
NASA’s Total Eclipse Site, which shares how to view the eclipse safely, lots of great educational and geographical information, eclipse activities, and citizen science opportunities that allow you to be a scientist for a day or longer, and help NASA study the eclipse.
How to make an old-school pinhole eclipse viewer, from Washington Post.
9 facts about the solar eclipse, from TimeandDate.com.
Jacquie at KC Edventures shares eclipse snacks, reading and citizen science activities that you can engage in, even after the eclipse.
Mrs. Plemons Kindergarten offers terrific space-themed projects for kids, so you can keep excited and learning about science.
Easy eclipse foods to make or buy, from Today.com
For adults, this list of eclipse-themed drinks (moonjito, anyone?) from Food Network will surely inspire your celestial cocktails.
However you celebrate the 2017 eclipse, remember to view the eclipse safely. I hope you’ll also make some memories, get in touch with your awe, and stay connected to science.
Photos: Time and Date, NASA, Mrs. Plemons Kindergarten