How to Take a Solar Eclipse Road Trip

Hit the right spot and see 93M miles into the distance
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User
Posted Jul 12, 2008 9:28 AM CDT
CAMBODIA. Angkor Wat. 1995. Solar eclipse. (PAR116054)   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – Thousands of people will trek to the hinterlands on August 1 just to stand in the dark for three minutes. The reason: a total solar eclipse is set to sweep over a path spanning from China to Canada. Wired clues would-be eclipse chasers in on ways to maximize each sunless second.

  1. Maximum shadow time: This year the Russian city of Nadym will see the longest total eclipse, set to click in at 2 minutes, 27 seconds. Don't waste your time traveling to a partial eclipse.

  1. Weather: Check the forecast for clear skies, whose importance often trumps shadow time.
  2. Travel: Avoid buildings, forests, and mountains, and be prepared to shift locations.
  3. Gear: Don't fry your eyes. Aluminized Mylar or No. 14 welder's glass make good shades. The view through a properly equipped telescope "will blow your mind."
  4. Shadow protocol: When people applaud and the temperature drops 10 degrees, stop trying to take pictures and soak in the experience of being able to see something that's 93 million miles away.