10 things you need to know about the Solar Eclipse while being in Chicago.

Years ago, when I was still very young, I went on a vacation to France with my boyfriend. I remember standing there, next to our tent on the campground.  Everyone around us was standing there, with these very stupid looking glasses. Gazing at the sun.

This video shows you what I saw that day:

I didn't really know in what year that was, but after doing some research it must have been on August 11, 1999. I was 18 back then. I remember that it felt really strange, the animals around us were responding to the eclipse as well. It seemed as if they were preparing for the night or for something way worse: an apocalypse or something. It's a strange sight, it becoming dark during the day.

This video shows how dark it got that day:

Back then I did have a solar eclipse glasses, but I must be honest: I have no clue if the pair I had was licensed. Probably not, because I didn't even know about solar eclipse glasses being licensed or not. The pair I had, didn't do any damage to my eyes, so the must have done something.

I found out that there hasn't been a total solar eclipse all over the United States since  August 6, 1918. There have been 13 more, but they weren't visible in every state of America. I know a lot of people from Illinois are traveling to Carbondale, because that's where you are in the path of totality.

My kids are in school on August 21st, but the district send out a letter, stating that parents could leave their kids at home, because their absence would be excused. We will not be driving 5 hours to see a total eclipse though. I am sure that we will be able to experience the eclipse from where we live too, because I was a bit outside the total eclipse back in '99 too. It still was a special experience.

I am sure too, that every room in Carbondale has been booked months ago, just as the solar eclipse glasses seem to be sold out everywhere. I bought 25 pairs last week, because websites were asking crazy amounts of money for them, since the licensed one are very rare. The should arrive today and I've already sold the 21 pairs I had left to neighbors, who had the same problem I was experiencing (Some people day I am very stupid though, because I sold them for $4, which was what I paid for them, even less because I forget to include the shipping fee. Well, I am social like that).

I am not sure if they will still be able to deliver on time though and the minimum quantity is 25 (that's why I had 21 leftovers).

10 things you need to know about this years Solar Eclipse, while being in Chicago:

  1. It all happens on Monday August 21st, starting at 11:54:22am in Chicago, maximum eclipse will be at 1:19:53pm in Chicago and it ends at 2:42:45pm. If you live somewhere else, you can find your specific time schedule here. Make sure you take 5 hours of the time this interactive map tells you, because it is all shown in UTC.
  2. Make sure you've bought safe Solar Eclipse glasses, ISO 12312-1. If you are still trying to find solar eclipse glasses, this is where I bought mine. I am not sure if they will still be able to deliver on time though and the minimum quantity is 25 (that's why I had 21 leftovers).
  3. Inspect your glasses before use, if there's a scratch on them, you can't use them anymore!
  4. Put your glasses on, to look at the Partial Solar Eclipse and keep them on, also during the Diamond Ring and during Bailey's Beads. Because you are watching in CHICAGO, outside the path of totality, you have to keep your glasses on the whole time! (people who are in the path of totality can take their glasses of during totality).
  5. If you want to shoot a video or take pictures of the Solar Eclipse, be sure to use a solar filter! You can find tips on how to photograph the solar eclipse here.  and also here. Tips on how to use a drone to shoot a video can be found here. 
  6. If you wear eye glasses, you can just keep them on, but be sure to put your solar glasses OVER them (if it doesn't fit, be sure to hold them in front of your glasses).
  7. If you want to go to an event to watch the solar eclipse, you can go here or here in Chicago.
  8. If you have kids, there are many fun activities you can do with them, in order for them to learn more about Solar Eclipses. You can find more information about that here. 
  9. There are special apps made, to live stream the eclipse, look for images, videos etc.
  10. Be sure to watch your pets during the solar eclipse, as I wrote before, I noticed a change in behavior in animals when I saw my first solar eclipse. This is what NASA says about animals during a solar eclipse:

It has been reported during many eclipses that many different animals are startled by totality and change their behavior thinking that twilight has arrived. You can explore this yourself with your own pets, or by watching local wildlife, especially birds.

I wish you a very cool experience, one that you'll never forget!

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