☀️90% of the sun will be hidden by the moon Monday afternoon

☀️Looking directly at the sun during an eclipse can cause eye damage

☀️School districts are dismissing classes several hours before the eclipse


Several Bucks County school districts have announced plans for an early dismissal Monday for the solar eclipse.

The CentennialCentral Bucks, Council Rock, and Neshaminy school districts will send students home before the eclipse begins at 2:08 p.m. It will peak at 3:23 p.m. and be done by 4:35 p.m.

A section of the country from Texas to Maine, including the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, will experience a total eclipse in which the sun is completely covered by the moon. Approximately 90% of the sun will be covered over Bucks County.

Full eclipse or not, it is dangerous to look directly at the sun, according to New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

"Staring directly at the sun can severely damage your cornea and permanently affect your vision, a condition called photokeratitis," Zarrow said.

There are special glasses being sold in stores and online for lunar events like this.

ALSO READ: Schools across Pennsylvania close for the April 8 eclipse

Map of April 8 solar eclipse
Map of April 8 solar eclipse (NASA)

What are schools doing?

The potential for injury by students who look up unprotected  has school officials concerned.

"The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our utmost priority. While solar eclipses are fascinating astronomical events, they also come with certain risks if proper precautions are not taken. Viewing a solar eclipse without appropriate eye protection can cause severe damage to the eyes," Centennial school superintendent Dana T. Bedden said in a message that echoes the sentiment of his fellow administrators.

All outdoor activities, practices or events are delayed or canceled in each district. The day will count a full day of instruction.

Eclipse ti​meline in Pennsylvania (all times Eastern Daylight Savings Time)

2:00 PM: The eclipse phase sequence will begin around 2:00 p.m.  As the moon's orbit begins to travel in between the sun and Earth, appearing as a dark shadow increasingly moving into the bright sphere of the sun.

3:00 PM: When the moon is covering most of the sun, watch for the ambient light to change and grow dimmer. The change will become more pronounced in the last 15 minutes before totality. The light may look eerie or strange. Even if it's cloudy and you can't see the Sun, the skies will still grow darker.

3:15 PM – 3:20 PM: Within the path of totality, the total eclipse phase as the Moon completely covers the Sun's surface. The sky will darken much like dawn or dusk for the short duration of the total eclipse.

3:20 PM – 4:30 PM: The phases of the solar eclipse will be played out in reverse.

4:30 PM: The visible eclipse effects will conclude around 4:30 p.m. in Pennsylvania.

ALSO READ: More NJ schools closing early for upcoming solar eclipse

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Gallery Credit: Dan Zarrow

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