I was giving an eclipse presentation to one of the local Rotary Clubs in the Franklin County, and one of the questions asked was: “Would it be safe to view the sun through binoculars if the viewer put solar viewing glasses on first?” The quick answer to the question is that this scenario is extremely dangerous to the eyes of the viewer, because the viewer has essentially placed solar filters on the wrong end of the binoculars.

Tens of thousands of people will descend Wyoming to view the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse. Now's the time to prepare. Learn what you need to know with our roundup of tips and information, from how to photograph the eclipse to the best way to survive the crowds.

We know, we know. You've been losing good sleep over what music to play while enjoying the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. Or maybe not. Anyway, you're awake now, right? So you might as well bop to our rockin,' swingin' playlist as you wait for totality. By Valerie Schremp Hahn 

It is never safe to look directly at the sun's rays – even if the sun is partly obscured. When watching a partial eclipse you must wear eclipse glasses at all times if you want to face the sun, or use an alternate indirect method. This also applies during a total eclipse up until the time when the sun is completely and totally blocked.

What is a total solar eclipse? A total solar eclipse is when the moon is directly between the Sun and Earth creating an umbra shadow on our planet. This will be the first total solar eclipse in Illinois since Aug. 1, 1869. The last coast-to-coast solar eclipse was in 1918 and Illinois only witness a partial eclipse within the penumbra shadow.

When children will be around for the solar eclipse, it’s a great chance to have some fun and teach them about astronomy at the same time.

The most important aspect of the Total Solar Eclipse is viewing it safely. The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can harmfully damage your eyes without proper protection. To avoid ultimately going blind, take the following special precautions. 

Whether you love astronomy or just want to get together with family and friends to watch this year’s solar eclipse, Aug. 21 is a great time for a party.

Attending large events can be fun and exciting but you must ensure that you are taking safety precautions. The eclipse will draw thousands of people to Southern Illinois and just like any event of this magnitude, many areas can become crowded. Below is a list of things to keep in mind to ensure you and your family's safety.

Millions of people will be stepping outside to watch the solar eclipse as it crosses the United States from coast to coast on Aug. 21.