April 21, 2017 – Big Kid Science, an educational company founded by astrophysicist Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, has created a free, educational app to help people plan for the upcoming total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017 — the first total solar eclipse visible from the continental United States in almost four decades.
Totality by Big Kid Science, now available for iOS in the App Store, shows how much of an eclipse you can see at any location, along with the local times at which the eclipse begins, reaches maximum, and ends on August 21. It also uses GPS to show you what you’ll see at your current location and to tell you the nearest locations at which you can see a total solar eclipse. It even offers driving directions if you choose to travel to see totality. The app also includes additional information about how to view the eclipse safely, how eclipses work, activities for families and teachers, and much more.
Developed by Germinate LLC, Totality’s underlying code was provided by Xavier Jubier, creator of sophisticated eclipse maps, including his well-known interactive Google map for the August 21 eclipse.
The iOS version of Totality is now available; an Android version will follow in a few weeks. Though the app is free, there are links to donate to the creators’ favorite nonprofits supporting space/astronomy education: Story Time from Space, Voyage, Astronomers Without Borders, and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
During the eclipse, Big Kid Science founder Jeffrey Bennett will be speaking in Idaho Falls, Idaho — one of the best locations for viewing the 2017 total eclipse — as part of a series of special events over the preceding weekend and on eclipse day: http://www.bigkidscience.com/idaho-falls-eclipse.
To support safe viewing of the eclipse, app creator Big Kid Science, with an additional contribution from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), is donating 100,000 eclipse glasses, including 50,000 to Astronomers Without Borders for distribution to underserved schools across U.S.; 20,000 to Denver Public Schools; and 22,000 to Idaho Falls Public Schools, plus 5,000 more for eclipse-day events in Idaho Falls. The same glasses can also be purchased directly through the app at a discounted price. The Shop screen also offers a code with which you can get a 30% discount on Big Kid Science books.
Worth noting: This Saturday, April 22 — Earth Day — is a special day for eclipse preparation: The Sun will follow essentially the same path across the sky as on eclipse day, so if you can see the Sun in your sky (i.e., not blocked by buildings or landscape) at the local time that you’ll have the eclipse on August 21, you’ll know you’re in a place where you can view the eclipse on eclipse day — and the app will tell you how much eclipse you’ll see there.
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