Teachers, scientists prepare for total solar eclipse

Teachers are taking time to learn about the upcoming solar eclipse so that they can pass that information on to students as school begins.

NEW ORLEANS -- An astronomical phenomenon is just weeks away, but teachers are getting ready for the solar eclipse today.

"I think the space industry is growing,"  said Katherine Michele Sanders. "The more we can get (kids) involved now at this young age, the more they can become in the space industry."

Katherine is a teacher and the granddaughter of Katherine Johnson, one of the women portrayed in the movie "Hidden Figures," so science is a big deal to her and dozens of other educators at NASA's Solar Eclipse Workshop.

A total solar eclipse is set to happen Aug. 21. In New Orleans, we'll only see about 80 percent of the eclipse, but areas like Nashville will see the full thing. 

"We're trying to educate teachers that this is not a one shot event," said Sabrina Edmondson, who used to be a teacher, but now works for NASA."This is something they can take throughout the year and grow on it."

There are plenty of ways to protect your eyes when looking at the solar eclipse. You can use special glasses, a pinhole viewer, sun spotter or a telescope that has a special filter. And you may want to get prepared now because a total solar eclipse doesn't happen very often. The last total solar eclipse happened in 1979, but the last total solar eclipse visible from coast-to-coast happened 99 years ago.

"There's always a sun out there, there's always a moon out there, but not very often do they line up just right so that we get a total solar eclipse," said NASA Education Specialist Seth Johnson.

"This is something that happens once in a lifetime," added Edmondson.

The solar eclipse should be viewable in New Orleans on Aug. 21 starting at 11:57 a.m. and ending at 2:57 p.m.

For more information, visit NASA's website here.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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