IDOT Has Tips When Driving During Solar Eclipse

IDOT wants motorists to be aware during the solar eclipse later this morning and has some tips to keep you safe. During the solar eclipse you’re advised to pull over on the side of the road, turn on your headlights and do not look directly at the eclipse without protective glasses. The solar eclipse occurs on August, 21st.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon travels between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on the Earth’s surface. An approximately 75-mile area in southern Illinois centered on Carbondale will be treated to a full eclipse ? when the moon completely blocks the sun for nearly three minutes. The rest of the state will see a partial eclipse of 85 percent to 90 percent coverage.

In the Chicago area, the moon will slowly start to block the sun at 11:54 a.m. covering up to 87 percent of sun’s surface by 1:19 p.m.

It is estimated that 100,000 to 200,000 people will visit the prime viewing areas in southern Illinois during the event, with the Interstate 57 (Interstate 24 to Interstate 64), Illinois 13 and U.S. 51 corridors anticipated to be the most heavily traveled. To minimize impacts to the traveling public, IDOT will eliminate a majority of its construction lane closures in these areas from 5 a.m. Friday, Aug. 18, to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug.22. If construction work zones or lane closures are encountered, motorists are advised to proceed with extreme caution.

Joliet Junior College’s Herbert Trackman Planetarium will have a limited number of solar viewers available and two telescopes set up at the City Centre Campus on Chicago Street.

You should never look directly at the sun, especially during an eclipse. Wear solar eclipse glasses. These special shades are similar to 3D glasses but are certified eclipse-safe for direct viewing. Regular sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe to view the eclipse.

A simple, inexpensive way to indirectly view the eclipse. Just take two sheets of white paper (card stock is better) and poke a hole in the middle of one sheet. With your back to the sun, hold the sheet with the hole over the other sheet and adjust them until you see a dot of light. That?s the sun. As the moon travels across the sun, a crescent will appear.

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