Editorials

Left in the dark about all those eclipse hazards

What is it like to experience a solar eclipse?

Eddie Agha, who leads astronomical observations at The Nature Institute in Godfrey, talks about the solar eclipse set to hit the United States on Aug. 21, 2017, with parts of Southern Illinois being in the path of totality.
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Eddie Agha, who leads astronomical observations at The Nature Institute in Godfrey, talks about the solar eclipse set to hit the United States on Aug. 21, 2017, with parts of Southern Illinois being in the path of totality.

WARNING: Dark side of the moon approaches, end times near, bad juju, hide the obsidian knives, snowflakes with melting retinas ahead.

Here are some things that may or may not be problems for you today or soon after.

You could go blind. If you are off school in Edwardsville and use one of those defective eclipse glasses handed out by the public library, you could wind up melting your eyeballs like a Nazi opening the Ark of the Convenant.

No eye appointments available for months. Edwardsville residents and anyone who bought on Amazon seek treatment for retinal burns from defective eclipse glasses.

Smartphone supply shortages. Millions seek replacement phones Tuesday thanks to burned-out sensors from eclipse selfies.

President Trump could roll back Obama-era renewable energy initiatives by tweeting that the eclipse proves how unreliable solar energy can be: “Sun fail. Big loser. Fails again in seven years. #eclipse2017.”

You could miss it. Clouds could happen, but you also may be too wrapped up in recording that little dot in the sky with your little camera. Living this event through a screen would be, well, a total eclipse of the heart.

“If you’re worried about the pictures and you’re fiddling with your camera and totality happens and you miss it, you’ll never forgive yourself,” said Eddie Agha, of The Nature Institute in Godfrey.

So happy eclipse day, folks.

Put in your earbuds (tuned to Ozzy or Bonnie Tyler). Put on your eyeshades (NASA-approved, ISO 12312-2). You know where to put the camera.

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