NASA astrophysicist says Americans should be excited yet cautious with total solar eclipse on horizon

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Less than a week away! The total solar eclipse slated for August twenty-first has Americans preparing for the rare event. It’s the first time in nearly 100 years that a total solar eclipse will be visible across the entire United States.

Hakeem Oluseyi says people should be cautious about what protective eyewear they purchase for eclipse viewing.

“Most people don’t get to see a total solar eclipse,” said Hakeem Oluseyi, an astrophysicist at NASA.

Get it while it’s hot, this rare event will not disappoint according to Oluseyi. A NASA astrophysicist, Oluseyi says the last time the U.S. had a coast-to-coast total solar eclipse was 1918. But why are they so rare?

“When the earth and the moon exactly lineup, that is a finite time in earth’s history and we’re here to witness it,” said Oluseyi.

He says the moon will place itself perfectly in between the earth and the sun, blocking out the sun’s light, turning day into night. Oluseyi wants this to be an education opportunity for every American…

“The people are the ones who have the interests and who put the passion in and become NASA scientists ultimately,” said Oluseyi.

A fun, educational activity for every age group, Oluseyi says there are precautions that need to be taken. He says looking at the sun isn’t safe and your regular sunglasses won’t protect people during this eclipse.

“You don’t want to look at the total solar eclipse with the naked eye. The only time you can do that is at the moment of totality itself. Other than that you have to use protective eyewear,” said Oluseyi.

He says Americans should be wary of companies trying to take advantage of consumers by selling knockoff versions of these special shades.

“You have to get ISO certified glasses. And also, I encourage a person to look at the NASA website because their guidance is given in order to allow a person to determine what’s fake and what’s real,” said Oluseyi.

For all official eclipse information on safety, science and more visit https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/.

Read the original version of this article at www.graydc.com.