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Five Things You Must Not Do During Totality At The Solar Eclipse (Synopsis) [Starts With A Bang]

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“Yes, I am well aware that nature — or what we call nature: that totality of objects and processes that surrounds us and that alternately creates us and devours us — is neither our accomplice nor our confidant.” -Octavio Paz

For most of us heading to the path of totality, we’re in for an incredible experience. If we get clear skies, it will take roughly an hour for the Moon to pass in front of the Sun’s disk completely, and after that we’ll get just over two minutes of totality: an experience like no other. Yet if you’re not careful — or if you get too excited about one particular thing — you might miss the best parts.

Messing around with photography is a great way to miss the incredible sights, sounds, and experiences of a total solar eclipse. Unless you’ve experienced enough total eclipses that you don’t mind missing one, leave photography to the pros. Image credit: Beawiharta/Reuters.

A lot of photography enthusiasts are planning to capture the eclipse on film (or digitally), but that may be a very poor decision. Others are planning on using binoculars to get a better view of the corona, but that has extreme dangers. Others aren’t sure whether they need their eclipse glasses or what all the things they should look for and try to experience are. But there are too many scientists passionate about getting the right information out there to let this event go by without sharing that knowledge and wonder with the world.

A panorama of the 2012 solar eclipse shows a region of darkness in the night sky, surrounded by the bright region where the Moon’s eclipse shadow does not land. Image credit: Jan Sladecek; Miloslav Druckmuller.

There will be an awful lot to take in during those moments of total darkness, and there’s no substitute for knowing what to expect. Here are five pitfalls you must avoid.


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