How to Take a Solar Eclipse Road Trip

Hit the right spot and see 93M miles into the distance
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2008 9:28 AM CDT

(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.

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  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.
(Read more sun stories.)

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