7 ECLIPSE MUST-KNOWS

Los Angeles Times - - PARADE -

In a to­tal eclipse, the moon’s shadow flies across the face of the planet at su­per­sonic speed. That’s fast—al­most as fast as it took Carson Huey-You and his younger brother, Can­nan, science-minded kid ge­niuses in the Dal­las area, to zip far ahead aca­dem­i­cally of most kids their age.

Carson, 15, en­rolled in Texas Christian Univer­sity when he was 11 and grad­u­ated in May with a de­gree in physics and mi­nors in math and Chi­nese. He plans to con­tinue with grad­u­ate stud­ies in physics to­ward a mas­ter’s de­gree and ul­ti­mately a doc­tor­ate. Can­nan, 11, will en­ter TCU this fall to study en­gi­neer­ing and as­tro­physics.

Here are seven things Carson and Can­nan want you to know about the up­com­ing eclipse.

1. Size mat­ters

“We are the only planet in our solar sys­tem where a moon and our sun have the same ap­par­ent sizes in the sky,” says Can­nan.

2. Your pet may be con­fused

In the dark­ness of a to­tal eclipse, an­i­mals may think it’s nighttime and be­gin their evening rit­u­als and sounds. “Some an­i­mals and insects get rest­less and con­fused,” Can­nan says.

3. Pro­tect your eyes!

“Use pro­tec­tive view­ing glasses,” says Can­nan. “It is safe to look without them only dur­ing the short time when the moon com­pletely cov­ers the sun.” 4. Eclipses to die for

“In an­cient China, peo­ple be­lieved solar eclipses were re­lated to health and the suc­cess of the em­peror. Not pre­dict­ing one some­times meant ex­e­cu­tion,” says Can­nan. That’s quite dif­fer­ent from today, when “any­one can watch an ac­cu­rate sim­u­la­tion of a spe­cific [fu­ture] solar eclipse on their iPad,” he says. 5. Su­per speed

The moon’s shadow races across the Earth so fast, you’d have to fly at least 1.5 times the speed of sound to keep up with it. “It would be cool to fly that fast in a jet at any time, but es­pe­cially dur­ing a solar eclipse!” says Carson. 6. Eat­ing the sun There are many myths and su­per­sti­tions around eclipses. The Chi­nese word for

solar eclipse is shi, mean­ing “to eat”—as in the moon eat­ing the sun. “That could be re­lated to the Chi­nese mythol­ogy of a dragon de­vour­ing the disc of the sun,” says Can­nan.

7. Cool!

Tem­per­a­tures drop dur­ing a solar eclipse. “When the moon cov­ers the sun, less heat is beamed down to the Earth,” says Can­nan. “You can ex­pect a tem­per­a­ture drop of about 10 de­grees.”

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