Many Santa Rosa County schools will have activities planned for students during the eclipse; some indoors and some will be outdoors using proper safety procedures.

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MILTON — From roughly noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 21 there will be a solar eclipse when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. Santa Rosa County will experience a partial eclipse beginning around 12:03 p.m. and ending around 3:02 p.m.

During the partial eclipse the moon will block approximately 85 percent of the sun. The longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about 2 minutes and 40 seconds according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Many Santa Rosa County schools will have activities planned for students during the eclipse; some indoors and some will be outdoors using proper safety procedures.

Parents who do not want their child to be a part of any outdoor eclipse plans need to notify the school.

If parents want their child to view the eclipse from home, they can check them out from school or keep their child at home. The school will excuses absences with a note from a parent.

Contact Jeffery Baugus, coordinator of math and science, at 983-5051 for more information.

“It’s important to not look directly at the sun during a solar eclipse because you can easily damage the cells that are important for 20/20 vision,” said Jessica Cameron, a University of Florida Health optometrist and clinical faculty member in the UF College of Medicine’s department of ophthalmology. “The sun damage creates cell death and then you can lose your vision or even have blind spots that occur in the center of your vision. Sun damage can lead to blurry vision, which may improve after several months. Otherwise, the damage is likely to be permanent.”

Gulf Power customers will see no interruption in services, the company says.

“Even though our solar arrays are online, there will be no impact in service to customers from the solar eclipse because of our balanced energy mix that includes renewables like wind and solar, but also 24/7 energy sources like natural gas and low-cost, cleaner-than-ever coal,”  Gulf Power spokesperson Rick DelaHaya said.

There will be minimal impact, according to DelaHaya, from the loss of solar generation at the new Gulf Coast Solar Center due to the adequate reserves of other power sources on hand to handle the temporary darkness.

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