300 veterans celebrate birthday of Hamilton boy whose dad died in Iraq

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 3:13 PM
Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 3:23 PM

Aiden Luff, 7, asked for military veterans to come to his birthday party so he could feel closer to his father, who died in Iraq.

Move over Batman and take Robin with you.

Fly away Superman.

You too Spiderman

There are new super heroes in town, at least in the eyes of a 7-year-old Hamilton boy.

“Veterans are much cooler,” said Aiden Luff, who just completed first grade at Brookwood Elementary School.

MORE: Organizers hope to grow Hamilton’s Memorial Day Parade

When Katie Luff asked what kind of birthday party her son wanted, he said a party with a military theme. All veterans. Army. Navy. Air Force. Marines. If you served, Aiden wanted you invited.

See on Nov. 21, 2010, when Aiden was only 5 months old, his father, Sgt. David James Luff Jr., 29, died in Tikrit, Iraq after insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire, the Department of Defense said.

A Hamilton High School graduate, Luff joined the Army in July 2004 as a tanker and attended training at Fort Knox, Ky. Upon completion, he was assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment where he served as a gunner.

In 2006, he was deployed with 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry to Operation Iraqi Freedom for 15 months. In April 2009, he was re-assigned to Able Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment “Wolfhounds” where he served as a driver. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in January of 2010. Seven months later, he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn as a gunner.

Gold Star Family Katie Luff and her son Aiden, 7, in their Hamilton home, Friday, May 19, 2017. Aiden asked to invite Military Service Veterans to his birthday party so he can feel closer to his dad, Army Sgt. David J. Luff Jr., who was killed in Iraq. GREG LYNCH / STAFF(Staff Writer)

“He’s very proud of veterans and his father,” said Katie Luff, 32, who noted Aiden was 6 weeks old when his father was deployed to Iraq. That was the last time they saw each other.

MORE: Memorial in honor of Middletown Judge Mark Wall to benefit elementary

When Luff’s family and friends started planning the party last week at the Middletown Airport, Katie Luff had no idea how many veterans would respond to a birthday party for a 7-year-old. She figured about 30 people might show up.

Instead it was 300.

Aiden was picked up at Smith Park and rode on the back of Perry Davis’ motorcycle. As they approached the airport, Davis, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Associates, was amazed by the turnout of well-wishers, many of them saluting the young boy.

“You can’t describe it,” he said.

Then he came up with the perfect word: “Awesome.”

WATCH: America’s veterans hailed in grand way at Lakota East High School

Those in attendance showered Aiden with birthday presents, including several Challenge Coins, a leather motorcycle vest stitched with his nickname “Boo Boo” and patches, a military shadow box, dog tags, and he was invited to meet several members of Team Fastrax, a Middletown-based skydiving team that performed.

“He was treated very special,” his mother said. “It was emotional. It was amazing. All these men, all these men who didn’t know my son, showed such kindness and respect like he was family. The number of people, well, it was overwhelming.”

Her son, she said, typically very shy, interacted with those at his party.

“He had the biggest smile all day,” she said. “He thinks he’s famous now.”

MORE: Butler County veterans spending to see double digit increases

She said veterans are special because they appreciate the sacrifices of those in the military and their families.

“They understand and care and let you know not to forget the people who didn’t come home,” she said.

The Luffs were married on Dec. 31, 2008, New Year’s Eve, and he often told fellow soldiers his anniversary was easy to remember.

Less than two years later, he was killed serving his country during his second tour of duty.

When Katie Luff heard the knock at the front door seven years ago, and saw a chaplain standing there, she knew the numbing news: The love of her life, her high school sweetheart, was gone.

“Every life plan was just taken away,” she said. “We had so many things planned. It was so soon. My world collapsed right there.”

MORE: Career fair for veterans set for May 25

Now, she said, her job as a mother is to protect her “best little buddy,” that energetic 7-year-old boy.

“He gave me a purpose to keep my head up and keep marching,” she said.

Every so often, Aiden flashes a facial expression that reminds his mother of his father. Those are good days in the Luff house.

“I still have that piece of Dave,” Katie Luff said.

Many schools view eclipse as learning opportunity

Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 8:28 PM

Many school districts across the region are planning to turn Monday’s Great American Eclipse into a great learning opportunity.

Beavercreek City Schools is among about 20 districts to return to class today.

“Kids are excited, the staff is excited,” Superintendent Paul Otten said.

In addition to regular planning for the upcoming academic year, the district had to consider the Great American Eclipse. The district bought eclipse glasses earlier this summer.

“Every student and staff member in the district will be getting solar glasses,” which Otten said will be handed out Monday to the district’s staff and more than 7,800 students.

Teachers are enthusiastic about an interactive science lesson, the superintendent said.

“They saw it immediately as a learning experience for our kids, and instead of just trying to talk about it in the classroom, we wanted to give them an opportunity to get out and experience it firsthand,” Otten said.

Lena Ellis’ daughter started kindergarten today. “She’s so ready,” said Ellis, who admitted she is as well. “Mommy gets her break.”

She applauds the district for making sure science lessons on the eclipse will be safe.

“I think it’s wonderful they’ll keep their eyes protected,” Ellis said.

However, students must have parental permission to participate in outdoor eclipse activities. Letters will be sent home by the end of the week.

More eclipse-related news is on the News Center 7 website’s #SkyWitness7 page.

News Center 7 will livestream special eclipse coverage Monday on Facebook and www.whio.com. A special broadcast also will be on AM 1290 and 95.7 WHIO.

Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 2:07 AM
Updated: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 2:07 AM


Check this page for a full list of crashes, disabled vehicles, construction projects and other hazards impacting your commute.

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

RELATED: Find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood with our Pump Patrol

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents to report

RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

Surface Street Incidents

  • At Ohio 741 and W. Pekin Road in Springboro, a two-car crash was reportedly shortly before 7 a.m. Heavy damage has been reported. Ohio 741 is blocked in the area.

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Get a live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY 

  • I-75 south Ramp to Dryden Road, RAMP CLOSURE August 19th between the hours of 8 am and 3 pm. The official detour is: I-75 south to Dixie Drive to I-75 north to Dryden Road. 
  • ·I-75 south between SR 741 and Dryden Road, Lane closure August 19th between the hours of 8 am and 3 pm. Two southbound lanes will remain open. 
  • I-75 north between Wagner Ford and I-70, Nightly lane closures August 15th – 18th between the hours of 8 pm and 5 am. Two northbound lanes will remain open.
  • US 40 between Preble County Line Road and Diamond Mill Road, daily lane closures July 31st – October 14th between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 725 between SR 4 and Union Road, Daily lane closures July 31st – October 14th between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 4 between Dayton-Liberty Road and SR 725, daily lane closures July 31st – October 14th between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 202 between Troy Villa Boulevard and Chesam Drive, traffic pattern shift August 2nd – September 25th. All northbound traffic will be shifted to the southbound side of SR 202. There will be one southbound lane and one northbound lane operating on the southbound side of SR 202.
  • US 35 west Ramp to I-75 south, Overnight ramp closure August 16th at 10 pm – August 17th at 6 am. The official detour is: US 35 west to I-75 north to Second Street to I-75 south
  • I-75 south ramp to US 35 west will be closed from January 9th to September 30th to replace a bridge deck beam that was not included in the I-75 modernization project. The official detour is: I-75 south to the Edwin C. Moses turn around lane to I-75 north to U.S. 35 west.
  • I-75 north ramp the US 35 east will be closed March 28th to September 23rd. ODOT lists the suggested detour as NB I-75 to US 35 west, to James H McGee Blvd, to US 35 east. 
  • I-70 between I-75 and I-675, nightly lane closures August 14th – September 30th between the hours of 7 pm and 6 am. These will become double lane closures at 9 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-75 between I-70 and SR 571, nightly lane closures July 24th – October 31st between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am. The northbound side will become double lane closure between 10 pm and 6 am. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
  • I-70 between I-75 and SR 202, shoulder closure May 8th – September 12th. Both the inside and outside shoulders will be closed for road work. Road will be open.
  • I-70 between Preble County Line Road and South Kimmel Road, overnight lane closures June 12th – August 31st between 6 pm and 7 am. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 741 at Austin Boulevard, intermittent lane closures and construction work May 22 – August 25.  
  • Shroyer Road between Gainsborough Road and East Dorothy Lane will be repaved and reconfigured from June 9 through at least October. Once the project is completed, Shroyer Road will be reduced to three lanes. 
  • Bridgewater Road between Taylorsville Road and US 40, bridge closure May 15th – September 12th. The official detour is: Bridgewater Road to Taylorsville Road to Rip Rap Road to Little York Road to Brown School Road to US 40
  • The Webster Street bridge is closed as it is rebuilt. A detour will take drivers to Keowee Street to Monument Avenue. The project is scheduled to be completed in November of 2017 

MIAMI COUNTY 

  • Piqua-Troy Road between Statler Road and Eldean Road, bridge closure April 12th – October 12th. The official ODOT detour is: Piqua-Troy Road to West Peterson Road to CR 25A to Eldean Road to Piqua-Troy Road.
  • West Peterson Road East between Troy-Sidney Road and Piqua-Troy Road, road closure July 5th – August 19th. The official detour from ODOT is: Troy Sidney Road to Piqua Troy Rd to Eldean Rd to County Road 25A to Peterson Road.
  • I-75 between CR 25A (Troy) and US 36, shoulder closures April 11th – October 31st.

CLARK COUNTY  

  • US 68 north Ramp to US 40 east, ramp closure July 17th – August 30th. The official detour is: US 68 north to SR 41 to US 68 south to US 40 east
  • I-675 north over I-70, traffic pattern switch. The two lanes of northbound traffic are shifted to the southbound side just south of the overpass. Two northbound lanes will be open. Once over the bridge, the right lane will be an exit only for I-675 north to I-70 west. The left north bound lane will be for thru traffic to Spangler Road. 
  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, ramp closure April 19th – October 31st. The official detour is: I-675 to SR 444 to I-675 north.
  • SR 41 between Donnels Creek Lane and SR 235, lane closures July 5th – October 16th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 565 between SR 29 and Houston Pike, Daily lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-70 west near I-675, lane width restrictions April 5th – October 31st. The roadway will be restricted to 22’ in this area.

DARKE COUNTY 

  • US 127 between US 36 and Kruckeberg Road, lane closures August 13th – September 17th. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
  • US 36/SR 571 Ramp to US 127 north, ramp closure  August 13th – September 17th. The official detour is: US 127 south to SR 49 to US 127 north 
  • SR 121 between Arnold Street and Fairview Avenue, Daily lane closures April 24th – September 1st between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY 

  • US 36 between SR 814 and McMahill Road, lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • US 36 between Bollinger Road and Edgewood Avenue, lane closures June 12th – August 31st between  7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • US 36 between SR 814 and Cambrian Road, lane closures July 5th – October 16th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 54 between SR 4 and Brigner Road, lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 55 between Elm Tree Road and Edgewood Avenue, lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 245 between SR 296 and Gilbert Road, lane closures July 5th – October 16th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 54 between Hickory Grove Road and Water Street, lane closures July 5th – October 16th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.plo
  • SR 296 between SR 29 and SR 814, lane closures May 22nd – September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 4 between Van Ness Road and Wing Road, road closure August 14th – 18th. The official detour is: SR 161 West to SR 559 South to SR 29 South to SR 4

SHELBY COUNTY 

  • SR 29 between Cisco Road and West Russell Road, shoulder closures August 7th– November 17th. *There could be intermittent lane closures in this area between 7 am and 4 pm.
  • SR 274 between SR 66 and SR 29, daily lane closures July 24th – August 25th between the hours of 7 am and 8 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
  • SR 274 between I-75 and SR 65, daily lane closures July 24th – August 25th between the hours of 7 am and 8 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
  • SR 29 near SR 274, daily lane closures July 24th – August 25th between the hours of 7 am and 8 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 66 between Enterprise Drive and Greenback Road, road closure July 10th – October 13th. The official detour is: SR 185 to SR 48 to US 36 to SR 185
AUGLAIZE COUNTY
  • I-75 between SR 219 and Breese Road, Nightly lane closures August 6th – October 31st between the hours of 6 pm and 7 am. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
  • SR 119 between SR 716 and SR 66, Daily lane closures July 24th – August 25th between the hours of 7 am and 8 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
  • SR 274 between SR 364 and SR 29, Daily lane closures July 24th – August 25th between the hours of 7 am and 8 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
  • SR 117 between SR 67 and SR 196, Daily lane closures July 24th – August 25th between the hours of 7 am and 8 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.

1 hit by vehicle and killed on U.S. 40, east of Springfield

Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 9:44 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 4:49 AM

Driver struck and killed on SR 40 east of Springfield

A woman is dead after she stepped out of her car Wednesday evening, which was parked along the shoulder of westbound U.S. 40 east of Springfield, and was struck by a passing vehicle. 

That passing vehicle also sideswiped the victim's car, and the driver of the passing vehicle stopped a short distance after the impact. 

The accident was reported sometime between 9 and 9:15 p.m. 

Investigators are trying to figure out if the victim had stopped because her car had broken down or for some other reason.

SEE ALSO: State reports West Nile case in SW Ohio

We're told the victim's car was pointed west on eastbound U.S. 40, in the area of Titus Road. She is believed to be in her 20s or 30s. 

Police, Clark County sheriff's deputies and troopers with the Ohio Highway Patrol responded to the scene. CareFlight also responded.

MORE: Opiates found in dead baby’s system

GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

What you need to know about the 2017 solar eclipse

Published: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 @ 3:43 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 1:55 AM

Will there be a lunar eclipse on the other side of the world when the US has a solar eclipse? Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs has the answer.

The Great American Eclipse will be visible across the country on Aug. 21. 

In the Miami Valley, the solar eclipse will begin shortly after 1 p.m. Aug. 21. It will take the moon almost three hours to cross the face of the sun, from one side to the other. 

RELATED: 7 things to know about the rare total solar eclipse 

RELATED: Solar Eclipse 2017: Read this before looking at the sun

Many cities across America will see a total eclipse, but our area will only have a partial eclipse. Almost 90 percent of the sun will be eclipsed by the moon. The last total solar eclipse that passed over the Miami Valley was more than a thousand years ago.

QUIZ: How much do you know about solar eclipses? 

VIDEO: How August’s solar eclipse will look in the Miami   

RELATED: How will your pets react to the solar eclipse?

Upcoming Total Solar Eclipse Stirs Fears of Apocalypse

The last total solar eclipse that was visible in the contiguous United States was on Feb. 26, 1979.  

#SkyWitness7 has a several resources for everything you need to know about the eclipse:

There won’t be a total solar eclipse in the Miami Valley. Here’s what you need to know to safely watch the Great American Eclipse

>> RELATED: How to get your free pair of Storm Center 7 solar eclipse glasses

The Great American Eclipse will be visible across the country in August. Watch this video to learn the when the eclipse will be visible in your community

A partial eclipse will start at 1:02 p.m. and end at 3:51 p.m. in Dayton on Aug. 21. Get more facts about the Great American Eclipse here

Check out the WHIO Space Glossary to learn the difference between an annular, hybrid and lunar eclipse. 

HAVE QUESTIONS? Ask the Storm Center 7 team through their Facebook and Twitter pages. This story will be updated daily with the latest questions from you! 

An even better eclipse coming in 2024 to the Miami Valley

Q: If we are going to have a solar eclipse does it mean that those on the other side of earth will have a lunar eclipse? What will be happening in Australia during our solar eclipse? Do they experience it a day ahead of us?  A: A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth and moon align. Earth moves in between the sun and the moon, blocking sunlight to the moon’s surface. This will not be the case this time around as the orbit of the moon will pass between the sun and earth creating a solar eclipse instead. Because the moon’s orbit is titled, as it continues its path around the earth it will move out of the direct alignment with the sun, ending the eclipse. At the time of the eclipse in the U.S., it will be night in Australia. They will have a dark sky, but no moon as the moon is on our side of the globe. This also means it’s not possible for them to have a lunar eclipse. In order for that to happen the moon would have to be on the Australia side with Earth traveling between the moon and the sun.

Q: What are chances that we will have cloudy skies on eclipse day?

A: During summer, there’s always is a good chance that clouds could develop during the heat of the day. The solar eclipse will occur between 1:02 p.m. and 3:51 p.m. in Dayton. Based on historical cloudiness data from the NOAA National Center for Environmetal Information 10-year hourly climate normals dataset, there is a 20 percent chance of an overcast day. Anything less should allow for better conditions to see the eclipse at some point.

>> Download the FREE Storm Center 7 app

Q: How will shadows look during the solar eclipse? 

A: Your shadow on a normal day will show your general shape. During a solar eclipse, a partial one like we will see, the light from the sun will be more focused (about a sliver will remain during max eclipse). This allows the sunlight to come from a smaller source and your shadow to become more defined. According to Rick Fienberg, from the American Astronomical Society, you can see such a sharp image of your shadow that the arms on your hair will be visible. Another interesting thing you could see because we won’t be in the path of totality is objects like trees casting crescent shaped shadows. Like a pinhole projector, the hole between leaves on a tree act to project the solar eclipse on the ground creating crescent shaped shadows! Here’s an example from NASA’s picture of the day

Q: What happens more often -- solar or lunar eclipses? 

A: Solar eclipses are fairly numerous, about two to four per year, but the area on the ground covered by totality is only about 50 miles wide. In any given location on Earth, a total eclipse happens only once every hundred years or so. However, for some "lucky" locations they can occur as little as a few years apart. An example is the Aug. 21, 2017 and April 8, 2024, eclipses, which will be viewed at the same spot near Carbondale, Illinois. The eclipse will also be total in the Miami Valley in 2024. Eclipses of the Moon by the Earth's shadow are actually less numerous than solar eclipses; however, each lunar eclipse is visible from over half the Earth. At any given location, you can have up to three lunar eclipses per year, but some years there may be none. In any one calendar year, the maximum number of eclipses is four solar and three lunar.

Q: How do I know if my solar eclipse glasses are safe to use?

A: You will want to make sure you are using solar eclipse glasses or a viewfinder only, says Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Sunglasses, 3D movie glasses or anything else will not be safe enough to view the solar eclipse with.

When you have glasses make sure that they have an “ISO” icon on them and that they have this sequence of numbers (ISO 12312-2). You also want to check the manufacturer. Some popular companies that certify their glasses include, Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical or TSE 17.

Making sure you get them directly through the manufacturer, a local library or from one of the WHIO giveaways will help to ensure you indeed have the right type of solar eclipse glasses.

If you can’t get glasses in time you can enjoy the eclipse by watching live videos from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 21 on WHIO-TV, online at whio.com and on the WHIO Facebook page. Also, learn how to make your own viewfinder here.

Q: Is it true there is another, better eclipse coming to Dayton?

A: Yes! If we miss the eclipse on Aug. 21, we won’t have to wait to long to get another shot. The next eclipse will be even better for Dayton as it will be a total solar eclipse in our area. It will occur on April 8, 2024 and if the skies are clear (that’s a big if), it should be spectacular as it will occur right around lunchtime! So set your alarm or mark your calendars!

Q: Are there different types of solar eclipses? 

A: Yes. A total solar eclipse (like the one Aug. 21) occurs when the sun, moon and Earth are directly in line. The people in the center of the moons shadow along its path from coast to coast will see the moon completely block the sun and it will get darker for a few minutes. A partial solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and Earth aren’t perfectly in line. This allows the moon to still obstruct the sun’s surface but only part of it. Finally, an annular solar eclipse still needs a line-up of the sun, moon and earth but this time the moon is farthest from the Earth. This means that the moon looks smaller from our perspective and will cover the sun but appear to leave a ring of brightness around it. You can read more about them here.

Q: Will gravity change that day?  

A: As crazy as it sounds, yes the gravitational force felt here on Earth will be different during the solar eclipse on Aug. 21. According to NASA, the average person will feel about 1.7 ounces lighter because the moon and sun will have a gravitational pull in the same direction, which will be opposite the Earth’s gravitational force.

Q: How long will the solar eclipse last when watching in the Miami Valley?

A: In Dayton, the moon will begin to eclipse the sun around 1:02 p.m. Then, the maximum eclipse or when the moon will cover most of the sun (about 89 percent in Dayton) is at 2:28 p.m. The eclipse will end around 3:51 p.m. This will make the eclipse about two hours and 50 minutes from start to finish. You can get the timing of the eclipse down to the second by finding your city right here.

Q: Where is the best place within 50 miles of Dayton to see the eclipse?

A: The farther southwest you go, the greater the eclipse will be. However, there will not be much variability within 50 miles of Dayton. For example, the sun will be eclipsed by the moon by approximately 89 percent in Dayton. In Cincinnati, it will be 91 percent eclipsed. You would have to travel to southwestern Kentucky or middle Tennessee to see the total eclipse. Keep in mind, experts are warning of extremely heavy traffic on the day of the eclipse thanks to the “eclipse-chasers,” so be prepared! For details on the eclipse and its start, peak and end times in your part of the Miami Valley, go to whio.com and click on #SkyWitness7 

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini talks about the timing of the eclipse

Q: What time does a solar eclipse occur? 

A: A solar eclipse happens only when a new moon occurs for the month and the orbit of the moon lines up between the Earth and the sun just right to produce a shadow on the Earth. We have a new moon each month but not always a solar eclipse because of the moon’s orbit. Each solar eclipse begins around sunrise at some point in the path and ends around sunset in a different location at the end of the path. Specific timing of what you see depends on your location. In Dayton,  the max eclipse time will be around 2:28 p.m. The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. is April 8, 2024. 

You can find the specific timing of the start, max and end of the eclipse in YOUR city by clicking here.

Q: What makes this a total solar eclipse? 

A: The Great American Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21 will be a total eclipse, which means the sun will be completely covered by the moon. There are usually 2 and up to 5 solar eclipses every year, but they are usually not total. But on Aug. 21, parts of the country will be in the path of totality, meaning that the sun will be completely covered. In the path of totality, it will be safe to look directly at the sun. Outside of the path of totality, which is where we are, it is NOT safe to look directly at the sun.

Q: Will there be a temperature change when the solar eclipse happens?

A: Yes. As the moon moves in front of the sun, there will be a noticeable change in temperature. It will get darker and feel cooler because the sun’s rays will be blocked by the moon.

Q: Can we look directly at the eclipse or do we need special glasses?  

A: Because we will not be in the path of totality in the Miami Valley, it is not safe to look directly at the eclipse, even during the maximum locally. We will get about an 89 percent eclipse, meaning the moon will cover 89 percent of the sun. This means that roughly 11 percent of the sun will still shine during the maximum. The best way you can see the eclipse is with special glasses or by creating your own viewfinder. 

Q: Do I need a special filter for my camera to take pictures or video fof the eclipse?

A: While there are different makes and models of cameras, the short answer is yes. Most cameras are not made to shoot the sun directly. The best option is to get a filter that will fit your camera to safely shoot the eclipse. Without a filter, you run the risk of damaging your device. As for what kind of filter you need, the best thing to do is contact the manufacturer and see what filter they recommend.

Q: What is the umbra and penumbra? 

A: The umbra and penumbra are different parts of the shadow created by the eclipse. In the case of the Great American Solar Eclipse, the umbra is the shadow that is darkest and is what creates the path of totality. The penumbra is what everyone outside of the path of totality in the continental United States will see during the eclipse.

Q: If we have a solar eclipse, does it mean that those on the other side of Earth have a lunar eclipse? What will be happening in Australia during our solar eclipse?

A: A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon align. Earth moves in between the sun and moon, blocking sunlight to the moon. This will not be the case this time as the orbit of the moon will pass between the sun and Earth, creating a solar eclipse intead. Because the moon’s orbit is tilted, as it continues its path around Earth it will move out of the direct alignment with the sun, ending the eclipse. During the eclipse in the U.S., it will be night in Australia. They will have a dark sky, but no moon as the moon is on our side of the globe. This also mean’s it’s not possible for them to have a lunar eclipse.