If you are dreading the daily commute, today is a good day to avoid it by leaving work early or hanging around the office for a few extra minutes for some free sci-fi entertainment a la Mother Nature. Today at 5:30pm (local time here in GA), you can watch what scientists believe will be a spectacular solar eclipse. We’ll need to watch online since it will be visible to the most unpopulated portion of the planet. Not kidding. The maximum eclipse (estimated at around 94%) will be visible on a few Pacific islands. Folks in Australia and on throughout the south Pacific will likely be able to see a partial eclipse, weather permitting, where it will be Friday for them.
This annular eclipse should result in a “ring of fire”, which is why there’s such a buzz about it. Scientists, science and sci-fi geeks (any Heroes fans out there?), transcendentalists, poets, artists, and more are all gearing up to watch the event one way or another.
Incidentally, if you’re reading this and considering heading out to view a solar eclipse, use protection. Even a tiny, “innocent” glance at the sun like that can damage your eye balls. As we come with two of those and are not regenerative (like <a data-cke-saved-href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claire_Bennet” target=" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claire_Bennet” target=" _blank"="">Claire Bennet in Heroes… anyone?), it is important to find a safer way than bare eyes. Space.com has a good list of safe tools that will help you see a solar eclipse without making it the last thing you ever see… too dramatic? Maybe not.
The image above is a pretty good example of what we can expect to see from today’s solar eclipse. That image was taken on July 22, 2009 by Xinhua News Agency in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality (which I found in an old Fox News archive).
If you’re going to be out and away from your home or office computer, you can download this free app by Slooh and watch it LIVE on your Apple device.
Slooh also made this video to get us all geared up for the eclipse.