2017 Solar Eclipse

Take A Break From The Left's Fabricated Race War, Have Some Fun On Monday

The 2017 solar eclipse will cover 70% – 85% of the sun across Michigan on Monday, 21 August. Long range weather forecasts suggest some cloud cover in the 2:00 PM – 2:40 PM (EDT) peak Michigan viewing time, but not total cloud cover or any rain. Peak coverage of the sun by the moon will occur from 2:10 PM – 2:20 PM (EDT) in the Upper Peninsula and 2:20 PM – 2:30 PM (EDT) in the Lower Peninsula. The moon will cover some portion of the sun from about 12:30 PM – 4:00 PM (EDT) across Michigan.

The view from Michigan will not be as spectacular as the total solar eclipse which will occur 300 miles south of us, but it will still be pretty impressive. Because there will be no totality in Michigan, everyone here who wants to view the eclipse directly will require serious eye protection – no exceptions. The only safe way to look directly at the sun or the partially eclipsed sun is through special solar filters, such as ‘eclipse glasses’ compliant with ISO 12312-2: 2015.

There has been a lot demand for solar eclipse glasses and many vendors are sold out. Even worse, there appears to be a lot of chicanery going on with unsafe counterfeits being sold. Even the compliant solar eclipse glasses are sort of cheesy. It is exceedingly difficult to tell that your are getting genuine eclipse glasses compliant with ISO 12312-2: 2015 in this age of cheap Chinese knockoffs.  Nothing here inspires confidence.

There is, however, an alternative.

Long before ISO 12312-2, astronomers used hardened glass welding filter plates compliant with ANSI/ISEA specification Z87.1 to view the sun. These 2 inch by 4.25 inch uniform density glass plates are sold by welding equipment supply houses and industrial gas suppliers catering to the welding trade. These filter plates are inserted in the viewing ports of the typical welder’s face shield and come in ‘shade numbers’ from 1.5 to 14. The darkest, Shade 14, is fully adequate for protecting your eyes from the sun.

A genuine ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015 welding filter plate will be indelibly marked in a corner with the letter “W” followed by its shade number (1.5 to 14). Often this marking will be preceded by “ANSI Z87.1”, but not always. Buy them from a real welding supply house and you can have confidence in their level of protection.

ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015, Shade 14 welding filters are actually uncommon in the welding profession, and there has been a run on them with the approach of the eclipse. Retail prices normally run under $ 2.00 each, but there is quite a bit of price gouging going on right now.  Some vendors have marked up their prices on Shade 14 filter plates by a factor of 10 or more.  Shade 14’s are typically only used for very high energy welding, over 400 amps.

There is a workaround here, though, using an old welder’s trick.

You can stack two Shade 10 welding filter plates, or a Shade 12 and a Shade 8, together to produce light protection equivalent to a single Shade 14 welding filter. These shades are much more commonly used by welders and there appears to still be a good supply of them available at welding supply shops. No price gouging, either.  Just assemble them together with a half inch strip of duct tape applied around their edges. Either combination produces a filter with light transmittance just less than a single Shade 14 filter.  Doesn’t matter which filter plate you face towards the sun, works either way.

There is still plenty of time before the eclipse and you can test your filter plate assembly on the full sun beforehand. Right outside the door of the welding equipment supplier, actually.

The auto darkening, battery powered welding filters now used by many welders are expensive and usually max out around Shade 12. You could put a Shade 8 filter behind them (not in front!), but this is tricky and not really practical. Most of the auto darkening filters only work properly in a specific face mask, too. Single shade filters are made in plastic, as well as hardened glass, but the plastic filters don’t work very well for high intensity light. Get the hardened glass filters if you can.

Should you miss the solar eclipse on 21 August, it will only be 2,422 days until the next solar eclipse on 08 April 2024.  This eclipse will be even better in Michigan. A small portion of Monroe County will actually experience totality then.

Think of Monday’s eclipse as a warm up!

You Betcha! (12)Nuh Uh.(0)

  7 comments for “2017 Solar Eclipse

  1. Jason
    August 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm


    RightMi.com does not encourage anyone to look at the sun for obvious reasons.

    You Betcha! (3)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • KG One
      August 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      But, that's where the fun is!

      Sorry, but I couldn't pass up using that line.

      You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
  2. Sue Schwartz
    August 18, 2017 at 6:32 am

    There are two cable channels showing the whole total eclipse starting at Noon as it moves around the Earth--or is it the Earth moving around the sun--or whatever--as for me--I'll be purchasing my Eclipse wear on Ebay, on the Tuesday to save the big bucks.

    You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
  3. 10x25MM
    August 18, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Trump Derangement Syndrome has Kristen Jordan Shamus consulting 'noted astrologers' to divine the effect of Monday's eclipse on our President:

    Donald Trump’s future, astrologers say, is written in the stars, and they’re predicting Monday's total solar eclipse will have serious consequences for the 45th president and for the country.

    The movement of stars and planets have an impact on people, they say, and suggest that the Aug. 21 eclipse could be transformative for the nation and President Donald Trump.

    "I am genuinely concerned about the future of our country with all of that is happening on his chart," said Rebecca Gordon, a New York-based astrologer and author who writes for Harper's Bazaar.......

    Who knew that Donald J. Trump had the power to transform the Detroit Free Press into a tabloid? Might become a more interesting read and recover some of its lost subscriber base....

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(1)
    • Corinthian Scales
      August 18, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      lzozozozozlzo.... Kristen Jordan Shamus = #PussyHats: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/08/14/womens-march-convention-coming-detroit-october/566307001/

      Fatties and effeminate beta manlets.

      Progressivism is a mental disorder and, Feminism is cancer.

      You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(1)
  4. mikki
    August 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    What is the math for this. I only have two nines. You need to have shade 12 to 14 according to Nasa. What will two nines be? I used these two nines back in 1994 for eclipse viewing and it was fine but now I'm old an paranoid. Anyone know the math for this?

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • 10x25MM
      August 19, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      Use this chart to figure out what stack of available plates gets you to the equivalent of Shade 14. The 'Luminous Transmittance' 'Welding Shade' 'Nominal %' values column (3rd from left) is what you want to use. You want Shade 12 protection at a minimum, Shade 13 protection is ideal, and Shade 14 protection is conservative.

      Multiple plates' cumulative transmittance are multiplicative. A Shade 8 + Shade 12 stack's transmittance is equal to 0.100 x 0.0019, or 0.00019. A Shade 9 + Shade 9 stack's transmittance is equal to 0.037 x 0.037, or 0.00137 (just slightly less than a Shade 12's 0.0019 transmittance).

      Would be comfortable using a double Shade 9 stack if the filter plates are glass, but would be hesitant if they are plastic. The typical UV and IR transmittances given in the right two columns are only good for glass filter plates. Plastic passes far more UV and IR light, which is not specified (limited) by ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015. You can get around this by taping the plastic filter plates to a piece of clear glass.

      You can extend this math to stacks of 3 or more plates, but optical distortion becomes a problem. But three is better than none.

      You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)

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