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Total solar eclipse will just brush Michigan

Lieza Klemm

The next solar eclipse to sweep coast to coast in the United States is in 2045.

The last total eclipse was in 2017, and completely missed Michigan.

Not only does this year’s eclipse have a wider path, but parts of the sun will be more visible.

“It’s a time where we can see the bottom part of the Sun’s outer atmosphere called the corona,” Michigan State University’s Abrams Planetarium Director Shannon Schmoll said. “During totality, we can see that nice shimmery thing.”

It wasn’t as visible during the 2017 total eclipse.

“The Sun was in what we call solar minimum,” Schmoll said that's a part of the Sun’s 11 year cycle. “There’s lot of sunspots and solar flares, so basically, the stuff that gets thrown off the surface of the Sun.”

“This time, we’re either in or nearing solar maximum, so we have a lot more activity. We’re hoping that that gives us a better look at that this time.”

The Lansing area will see close to 95% coverage during the eclipse. “There is a technically a very small corner of Michigan in Monroe County that will get to see totality,” Schmoll said.

She said the farther away from the path of totality, the less coverage an area will see. “The [Upper Peninsula] is much farther from the path of totality, so they’re around 84%”.

While the eclipse progresses, temperatures will drop, automatic outdoor light will turn on, and animal will start their bedtime routines.

“You might notice the lighting feels different and kind of odd,” Schmoll said.

She recommends looking under trees as well. “They are essentially acting as a pinhole camera, so they will project an image of the sun,”.

During daylight hours, there’s not much to notice. “But during this, you’ll start to see lots of crescents underneath, which is really interesting,” she said.

Fatih Imamoglu is an international student at Michigan State University, a member of the university’s astronomy group and works at the planetarium. “Everyone has been talking about it. They’re saying the birds stop singing, everything stops,” Imamoglu said. “Everyone just in silence, watching totality.”

This will be Imamoglu’s first time seeing a total solar eclipse.

“Everyone is saying you pretty much start to see the night sky”. “They said it’s going to be a once in a lifetime experience.”

When viewing an eclipse, solar-filter glasses are necessary. “Wear solar-filtered glasses while looking at the sun except during totality in those two and a half minutes,” Imamoglu said.

“For the partial eclipse, at no point should you look at the Sun without eclipse glasses,” Schmoll said. “Even with 99% of the Sun covered, there is enough light there to damage your eyes.”

Eclipse glasses are available at the all Capital Area District libraries, as well as the Abrams Planetarium for a dollar a piece, until supplies last.

A pair is available for free per family at the Grand Ledge Area District Library and the Delta Township Library.

Some grocery stores carry eclipse glasses.

The eclipse will start slightly before 2 p.m. and end just before 4:30 p.m. on April 8.

Lieza Klemm is a senior at Michigan State University, majoring in journalism with a concentration in broadcasting
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