I am sure you have heard about what people are calling the “Great American Eclipse” that traveled from Oregon to South Carolina this morning the visibility stretched across a 70-mile wide path from around 9-11am. Though many fled South taking the day off to visit viewing spots in Oregon, the eclipse was still very visible for those that only had a few minutes to step out of work this Monday morning. Approximately 88% of the sun was covered at the peak of the eclipse around 10:21 am in Whatcom County.
If you had a chance to stare up at the sun this morning we hope you had some sort of protective glasses on! If not you may experience “eclipse blindness” or retinal burns throughout the next week or possibly forever. “This exposure to the light can cause damage or even destroy cells in the retina (the back of the eye) that transmit what you see to the brain,” said PreventBlindness.org. “This damage can be temporary or permanent and occurs with no pain. It can take a few hours to a few days after viewing the solar eclipse to realize the damage that has occurred.”
Ferndale hosted about 1600 people for a “Great American Eclipse” viewing with folks from the Whatcom County Library System and the Ferndale School District along with astronaut Wendy Lawrence and NASA scientist Cathy Watson this morning.
This was a once in a lifetime event for a lot of people in Whatcom County, how cool that something so far away can bring us all together? And what a great excuse to take the morning or the whole day off; in the name of science of course!