Southern Arizona prepares for partial solar eclipse - Tucson News Now

Southern Arizona prepares for partial solar eclipse

People line up Sunday, August 20, to buy special solar eclipse glasses Line is long for #eclipse glasses at the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium (Source: KOLD) People line up Sunday, August 20, to buy special solar eclipse glasses Line is long for #eclipse glasses at the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium (Source: KOLD)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

You don't see it every day, nor every decade. The magnitude of Monday's marvel is not lost on the people of southern Arizona.

"It's surprising and thrilling. We're very pleased, and we could never have predicted the level of enthusiasm for this eclipse," said Shipherd Reed with the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium.

It's why hundreds of people showed up Sunday, August 20, to purchase special solar eclipse glasses, a $5 piece of cardboard and black polymer film.

"We actually went to Best Buy and they're sold out," said Gabrielle Ruesch, who lives in Tucson.

She and Ken Noble stood in line at the science center to purchase the special eye-wear. The University of Arizona alumni were back on the University of Arizona campus, knowing they will only see a partial 59 percent eclipse in southern Arizona.

"It's only if you're in what they call the 'path of totality' that it will go dark. And it won't go completely dark. It'll be like twilight, like just after the sun sets," Reed said. "I've discovered that a lot of people are thinking that's going to happen here in Tucson. We will have a partial eclipse. The light from the sun will dim, kind of as if a cloud was passing over the sun. But it's not going to get dark."

Noble said it won't stop him from enjoying the spectacle, but he's not excited enough to travel the distance his brother was willing to go.

"My brother's on the road. He's stuck right now in traffic. He's on his way," Noble said. "No, I'll pass on that traffic jam."

According to NASA, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun on Monday, August 21, 2017. It is the first total solar eclipse to pass the entire continental United States since June 8, 1918.

"Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights - a total solar eclipse," the NASA website stated. "This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun's tenuous atmosphere - the corona - can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk."

Noble chose to pass on the traffic headache, and the potential eye damage. Reed explained that it's just as dangerous to look at the solar eclipse without the special glasses as it is to stare at the sun any other day of the year.

"And if you've ever tried, even for a moment, you would know that you feel like you're going blind and you have to turn your head away," Reed said.

So Noble and Ruesch are stocked up, ready to watch the national phenomenon, wanting to have no regrets.

"I don't want to, next week, look back and say, 'oh wow. This one thing happened, that hasn't happened for a long time, and I missed it,'" Noble said.

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