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Solar Eclipse Learning Fun

Kentucky NEED Regional Coordinator Sue Parrent experiments with solar beads during the solar eclipse!


Living in Western KY, we have been talking about this day for the last year. Glasses were bought and parties planned to view this once in a lifetime event. I am fortunate to live in the part of the state that received 2:40 minutes of totality. Can I say it was awesome!!!
So being a NEED nerd, I decided to do a little experiment with the solar beads aka. UV beads that we use in our Solar kits. They detect ultra-violet rays from the sun. I wondered how would the beads react in a solar eclipse?
 
First: I made my bracelet-no UV rays in the house.

 

Second: About an hour before the eclipse began, I took it outside. The beads reacted to UV rays and became bright and dark in color. 

      
 
So what do you think happens to solar beads during the eclipse?   
One minute from totality, beads were very faint almost white. Surprised us that hardly any UV rays were being detected. You can see that it was beginning to get dark outside.


 
Where I live, it went totally dark. You can see in the picture how dark it was. My flash on my camera came on for this picture. The beads were completely white.    
 


I decided to snap a couple more pictures as we moved out of the totality.
 
This shows the beads with very pale colors. It was taken two minutes after totality.


 
Last picture I took was when we were at half-moon stage. You can see UV rays are being detected. The colors are easy to see but still not as bright as when at full sun. 


 
I had fun learning about UV rays with my solar beads during the eclipse today.  You can find some other great solar activities with these beads in NEED's solar units. Check them out and have some fun!!

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