Eyeballs are better than 3-ton telescope when viewing eclipse - WSMV News 4

Eyeballs are better than 3-ton telescope when viewing eclipse

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Just a few minutes from Nashville in Brentwood you’ll find the Dyer Observatory. It’s this area’s gem of astrological technology with a 3-ton telescope that can see galaxies far, far away.

As grand as it is, when viewing a solar eclipse, our eyes are actually better.

All it takes is a push of a button to open the steel dome and let the telescope inside show its skill.

“So we’re going to be looking for Venus,” said Dyer Observatory astronomer Billy Teets. “So we’re just positioning the telescope so that we can look at the shutter of the observatory.”

The machine gathers 10,000 times as much light as the human eye can gather.

“It can show us all the plants in the solar system. We can even see galaxies millions of miles away from us,” Teets said.

Venus can’t hide from it.

“The image of Venus is really nice and sharp,” Teets said.

At the time of totality, you’ll be able to see Venus and Jupiter with your eyes. They’re both be the brightest lights in the sky.

But the monster telescope will take the day off during the eclipse.

“A telescope won’t give you a better view of totality,” Teets said. “It’s also dangerous. When the sun re-emerges even a little bit and you see it, it would cause irreparable eye damage.”

Humans already have the best equipment to see totality.

“Just with your eyes, you’re going to have the best views of totality,” Teets said.

Teets said eclipse viewers can take off their glasses and look at what’s left of the sun during totality. After those two minutes or so, when the sun starts peeking out, the glasses should be put back on.

Astronomers said the shining sun will make it clear when it’s the right time to do that.

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