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The Crail Ranch hosts eclipse-viewing event in Big Sky

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The Historic Crail Ranch Homestead will host a community viewing of the “Great American Solar Eclipse” beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 21.

The event will begin with a presentation of eclipse history and stories told by Bozeman actor Steven Harris-Weiel. Harris-Weiel will share multi-cultural stories about solar eclipses across history and shed light on the legends and myths that were born from a desire to understand the phenomenon before science could explain it. Stories will range from Native American legends about a black squirrel who ate the sun to ancient Greek myths that perceived an eclipse as a result of angered Gods and that it heralded disaster and destruction.

Complimentary eclipse viewing glasses and soft drinks will be provided for the first 75 people. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket and picnic lunch.

The eclipse countdown begins at 10 a.m., with peak 97 percent coverage at 11:35 a.m. The eclipse ends at 12:58 p.m.

The Historic Crail Ranch Homestead is located at 2110 Spotted Elk Road in Big Sky. This event is weather dependent and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

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Tips for viewing the eclipse safely

It is not safe to watch the eclipse without a viewing device. The sun’s UV radiation can burn the retinas in the eyes leading to permanent damage or even blindness. This can occur even if your eyes are exposed to direct sunlight for just a few seconds.

According to NASA, the following materials should never be used to view a solar eclipse:

– sunglasses of any kind

– color film

– medical X-ray film

– smoked glass

– floppy disks

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