• Therapeutic Cataract & Refractive
  • Lens Technology
  • Glasses
  • Ptosis
  • Comprehensive Eye Exams
  • AMD
  • COVID-19
  • DME
  • Ocular Surface Disease
  • Optic Relief
  • Geographic Atrophy
  • Cornea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • LASIK
  • Myopia
  • Presbyopia
  • Allergy
  • Nutrition
  • Pediatrics
  • Retina
  • Cataract
  • Contact Lenses
  • Lid and Lash
  • Dry Eye
  • Glaucoma
  • Refractive Surgery
  • Comanagement
  • Blepharitis
  • OCT
  • Patient Care
  • Diabetic Eye Disease
  • Technology

Midwest science center ensures eye safety during eclipse with community event, partnerships

News
Article

Cleveland, Ohio’s Great Lakes Science Center Community Engagement Coordinator JonDarr Bradshaw details what those in the path of totality should expect, as well as the science center’s initiatives to keep eyes healthy during the event.

Solar eclipse in space Image Credit: AdobeStock/JamesThew

Image Credit: AdobeStock/JamesThew

As the sky darkens, the natural world prepares for its changing of the guard. As the birds stop singing and return to their nests, the crickets will start chirping, followed with a cool drop in temperature. Nature and its beings are preparing for nighttime. Or are they?

As described by JonDarr Bradshaw, community engagement coordinator at the Great Lakes Science Center on the shoreline of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio, the total solar eclipse this April will fool wildlife and humans alike as the moon passes over the sun and will darken the sky mid-afternoon April 8. “The disk of the moon will completely cover the disk of the sun in the daytime sky, and it will turn daytime into twilight,” Bradshaw said. “It will be absolutely amazing.”

The astrological event is unique to Earth, due to the size of the moon and the planet’s distance from the sun. While total solar eclipses happen approximately every year and a half, they often occur over the ocean or other remote parts of the world where humans do not live. In the rare case of those who live in this year’s path of totality, Bradshaw said it could be between 300 to 350 years before a total eclipse occurs in that same place again. For Cleveland, that wait time is around 450 years. “It may be the only time that you get to see it in the community that you happen to live in,” he said.

Even if visibility is poor in a given location on eclipse day, Bradshaw said the event will still provide a “total sensory experience.” The temperature will drop by around 10 degrees, and the sky will appear to be in twilight at all 360 degrees. “It's not only what they're going to see, it's what they're going to hear. It's also what they're going to feel as well,” Bradshaw said.

In the Cleveland area, the eclipse will run from around 2 pm to 4:30 pm, with totality spanning about 3 and a half minutes starting at 3:13 pm.

Preparation

With such a big event on the horizon, Bradshaw said the science center has been teaming up with some of the state’s museums, libraries, community centers, churches, and other organizations to ensure that watch parties remain safe for the community’s eyes. The science center received a grant that allowed for about 100 other organizations to provide training and supplies to these organizations to keep attendees safe.

Additionally, the science center is holding a Total Eclipse Fest 2024 that provides activities and events from April 6-8. Bradshaw said that eclipse glasses will be passed out, as well as telescopes and large filter sheets for viewing opportunities during the eclipse. During the eclipse, Bradshaw said the science center will be using a loud speaker to inform attendees when it is safe to take off their glasses, as well as when to put them back on. Bradshaw said these announcements are timed to give attendees leeway to be sure their glasses are properly secured.

Bradshaw said that it is vital to never look directly at the sun, even through the lens of a cell phone or camera. “The only time that it’s safe to actually look at the sun is during a total solar eclipse, and it’s during the point of totality,” he said.

Related Videos
Deborah Ferrington details a session on mitochondrial maintenance and retinal health in patients with AMD at ARVO 2024
Dr. John Sheppard discusses results from trials testing the efficacy of eye drops to treat dry eye disease
Chris and Jamie Shyer, Zyloware Eyewear co-CEOs, after their NOW Optical Lifetime Achievement award win at Vision Expo East
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.