By Ben Brumfield
(CNN – Oct. 23, 2014) — The cosmos will cast an afternoon delight over the country on Thursday with a partial solar eclipse.
The moon will clip the sun, making it look like a fingernail as it sets in the west for most of the country and Canada.
The show will reach its height at 5:45 p.m. ET, NASA says, meaning the Eastern half of the country should get a view before the backdrop of golden twilight hues. FOX59’s Jim O’Brien said the eclipse will begin in Indianapolis at 5:42 p.m. with about 40% obstruction at 6:46 p.m. just before sunset at 6:54 p.m.
People living in the Central Time zone will have the best view, NASA says. New England and Hawaii will unfortunately miss out on this one.
The eclipse should last for over two hours.
Protect your eyes
While enjoying the view, protect your eyes, NASA says: “Don’t stare. Even at maximum eclipse, a sliver of sun peeking out from behind the Moon can still cause pain and eye damage. Direct viewing should only be attempted with the aid of a safe solar filter.”
There are some old tricks to viewing indirectly, like punching a hole in cardboard and projecting the light seeping through it onto a surface away from the sun.
Or let a tree do the work for you.
“Overlapping leaves create a myriad of natural little pinhole cameras, each one casting an image of the crescent-sun onto the ground beneath the canopy,” NASA says.
If you miss this one, the next solar eclipse over North America will occur in about three years — and it will be a more dramatic and rarer total eclipse.