Eclipse Facts:

  • Normally the sun does 1000 radiant damage to your eyeballs when you look at it. This is why you don’t normally look at the sun.
  • Even when the sun is partially blocked by the moon, you will still take a bunch of radiant damage to your eyeballs.

  • For instance, if the sun is 60% obscured, you are still taking 400 radiant damage to your eyeballs by looking at the sun.

(for real, don’t look at the sun unless you’re in the total eclipse and it’s during the 2-ish minutes of totality.)

Ten eclipse tips

1. Never look directly at the sun. This makes the sun uncomfortable, and may be interpreted as an attempt to establish dominance. The sun almost never attacks unless eye contact is made first. Always practice sun safety!

2. Similarly, do not try to photograph the eclipse. Solar eclipses have no reflections, cannot be viewed in mirrors, and require a constant supply of blood. As a consequence, they are unphotographable and you should probably avoid them after dark.

3. If you are still planning to use your camera during the eclipse, we recommend using a delayed-release timer. This should give you enough time to flee to a safe distance. Remeber to etch your camera body with your name so that you can identify the remains afterwards. A silver memory card is also a must if you insist on retrieving the pictures, although we cannot think why you would want to.

4. Plan your trip to the area of totality beforehand. Choose an area that has viable escape routes, is not downwind of any volcanoes, and contains no graves. Note that this includes fossils: be sure to check ahead of time!

5. Never watch the eclipse whilst driving. You should only drive away from eclipses, which, as previously noted, will not be discernable in the rear-view mirror. If you do look behind you whilst fleeing an eclipse, the eclipse may not be allowed to return to Earth and you may end up being torn apart by either maenads or eclipse hunters of the future.

6. No matter how exciting your picnic plans may be, never bisect a piece of raw meat inside a circle of salt at the moment of greatest darkness.

7. During the eclipse, birds may get confused and wander off. If you encounter any disorientated birds, treat them kindly and give them directions back to the sky. It may also start raining men. This is not normal and should be reported to the authorities.

8. Make sure to look at your shadow during the eclipse. I mean, when did you last look at your shadow? Really look? The poor thing is feeling neglected and goodness knows they get anxious during periods of partial darkness. Give it a little hug if you can and make sure it knows you’re thinking of it.

9. Look out for light beaming through the canyons of the moon. If you can record these points on a moon map, you too may be able to cash in on the lunar light-mining revolution which is soon to come. In the future years of darkness you will be very glad you did this.

10. After viewing the eclipse, you may feel a chill hollow at the very heart of your being, as though the circle of darkness had sucked a portion of your soul away with it. But be honest: this is how you felt before the eclipse, isn’t it? We find it reassuring to know that experimental theologians have comprehensively debunked the soul-extraction eclipse theory. That awful absence most likely comes from creeping nightwalkers or the things without lanterns instead.


Videographer captures an annular solar eclipse in 2012. The difference between an annular and a total solar eclipse is whether or not the moon fully blots out the sun. The difference, therefore, is a great illustration of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth being an ellipse. When the moon is far from Earth during an eclipse, the eclipse will be annular, while an eclipse when the moon is closer to Earth will be total. 

You may not want to try this on Monday unless you have an appropriate camera.


As the solar eclipse takes place in the US this Monday, I would like to take the time to appreciate just how special such an event is. I am not talking about the fact that this total eclipse will only go though one country–the US, or that only a few eclipses happen a year, or even that a total eclipse only happens in the same spot roughly every 300 years. It is about our place and time in the universe, it is about our home on earth. The distances and sizes of the earth, moon, and sun are all just right so that in a total eclipse, the moon exactly covers the sun from our perspective on Earth with no under- or overlap. In this way, the sun is blocked out but the sun’s atmosphere with its fiery discharges is just visible in a ring around the moon. How many other worlds in the universe will ever experience such an event? The distances and sizes have to be just right. Whatever the number is, it must be very small. No other planets in our system or other planetary systems we know of have the right conditions. Furthermore, it is also about timing. The moon’s distance from Earth has been sliding back, and soon enough these perfect eclipses will no longer happen on Earth. We live on the right planet and in the right time to see one of these. Our place and time in the universe gives us the chance to see a truly improbable event!

Eclipse lore

So yeah, I’ve seen plenty of gr8 shit on my dash about this so here’s some more!!! Hmu if have any corrections or something!


- The Vietamese belived a giant frog devouring the sun caused the solar eclipse, while the Norse blamed the wolves, and the Chinese said a dragon was snacking on the moon. Traditionally, people used drums and other loud noises to scare the various moon-eaters away.

- Ancient greeks belived an eclipse was a sign that the gods were arguing amongst each other (or mad at humanity) and would set up alters to calm/appease them.

- The inuts said that the eclipse happened after the sun goddess Malina argued with her brother (the moon god, Annaingin) and walked away from him. When Annaingin caught up with her, the solar eclipse happened.

- In Italy, People plant flowers under the light of the eclipse because the flowers supposedly bloom brighter and more colorfully. 

I won’t be posting for a few days. I’m Oregon bound to see the eclipse - a trip I’ve been planning for ten years! Fresh photos on return.

Image adapted from a plate in The Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings Atlas published 1882. The caption reads, “Total eclipse of the sun. Observed July 29, 1878, at Creston, Wyoming Territory.” Sadly, the folks in Creston are not in the path of totality this year. Image from the New York Public Library Digital Collections.