4 things that may surprise you about the eclipse

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Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world-famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but embraces a small town charm. As the regional center for healthcare, science & technology, shopping and entertainment, Idaho Falls is an attractive location for small and large businesses alike.

There has been a lot of talk about the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21st, but many people still wonder, why are so many people planning to visit east Idaho for it?

The City of Idaho Falls is hosting an event discussing what to expect from the eclipse on Wednesday, July 26th at 7 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium, focusing mainly on the impact an influx of people will have on the city.

The total solar eclipse itself has little effect on day-to-day life, but because it is a rare sight to behold for most people, east Idaho is expecting thousands of visitors to come to watch it unfold.

With so many people visiting towns made to handle smaller populations, the city wants to prepare residents for the effect it will have on them.

For all of you still wondering what the big deal about the eclipse itself is, here are a few fun facts to fill you in.

ECLIPSES ARE IMPORTANT FOR SCIENCE

During the solar eclipse, scientists are able to study the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere where the sun’s “weather” occurs, in great detail.

Solar weather has many effects on our solar system, which include effects to things like the satellites orbiting Earth.

If scientists can better understand solar weather, one day they may even be able to predict and plan for it.

Its possible to create artificial eclipses, but nothing beats the real deal, prompting some scientists to even follow the path of totality in supersonic jets, giving them an extended time to study.

THE TEMPERATURE WILL DROP TEMPORARILY

Because totality only occurs for a couple minutes, the temperature drop will not be very significant, with the lowest temperature occurring after totality is completed.

Rick Feinberg with the American Astronomical Society says people should expect an average drop of around 10 degrees F.

Due to your body’s evaporative cooling, if the wind blows, which is likely in east Idaho, it may feel a bit colder then it really is.

ENERGY PRODUCTION WILL DECREASE

It should be pretty obvious that while the sun is momentarily covered, solar power can’t be effectively generated.

Not as obvious – the effect on wind power.

As temperatures decrease, generally wind speed does too. That means wind turbines will likely be spinning slower than average, decreasing slightly the amount of energy produced.

THE SUN’S BRIGHTNESS ISN’T THE ONLY THING THAT COULD DAMAGE YOUR EYES

While those sweet eclipse glasses do a great job of blocking the brightness of the sun, the sun also has infrared “heat” which can cause eye pain and discomfort.

Even with specialized glasses, if you look at the sun too long your eyes can overheat, which can be very serious.

Don’t continuously watch the eclipse’s progress without taking frequent breaks to look away, and take heart that during totality, the solar disk is covered and you can look on without any damaging effects.

For more information about the eclipse and events surrounding it, visit the City of Idaho Fall’s web site here.

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