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Partial solar eclipse coming to Nebraska, Iowa Saturday: How to watch safely

"The most important thing you want to do is protect your eyes."
Posted at 7:24 PM, Oct 12, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Krista Testin explains a solar eclipse this way: "When the earth, sun, and moon line up, which occurs at least twice a year when you change from summer to winter, these are called nodes. That's when you're going to get an eclipse of some kind."

She's the after school and planetarium coordinator at UNO's Stem Trail Center. She said the solar eclipse coming to Nebraska on Saturday could be visible for up to two and a half hours.

"So if you've got a sunny day and it filters through the trees you can look at the ground and see the light and see how the shadow is crossing the sun," she said.

There are other ways to view the eclipse outside of looking at shadows.

"The big thing is don't look directly at the sun, don't even sort of look around the sun, really severe eye damage can occur during eclipses - and it has and so the first thing you want to do, the most important thing you want to do is protect your eyes," said Amanda Kephart, Kiewit Luminarium program manager.

2017 was the last time Nebraska saw a total eclipse. And while this one will only be partial, if people still have solar glasses from then and they aren't damaged, they can use them. Another way to view them at home, through a pinhole viewer, which can be made from any kind of cardboard box.

"When you've got a single light source coming in," said Kephart, "think of my phone as the sun coming down and what you'll see then in that reflection is the actual solar eclipse."

While this solar eclipse is only 60% here, there will be a full solar eclipse visible in the eastern parts of the U.S. and partially visible in Nebraska on April 8, 2024.

At the Riverfront this Saturday, UNO, the Luminarium and the Omaha Astronomical Society will have eclipse-themed activities, treats and more. It'll run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the green in "Heartland of America Park."

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