How to watch the Great American Eclipse safely

Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs and Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini explain how to make a solar eclipse pinhole projector with items you have around the house.

Your Storm Center 7 team wants to make sure you safely enjoy the Great American Eclipse on Aug.21. Since we won’t experience a total solar eclipse here in the Miami Valley, there is a threat that looking directly at the eclipse can open your eyes to retina damage because of the sun’s rays.

Here are some safe ways to watch.

RELATED: #SkyWitness7 

RELATED: When will the solar eclipse be visible in your community?  
Special Eclipse goggles: According to NASA there are several approved vendors to buy your own goggle.

RELATED: What you need to know ahead of the 2017 solar eclipse 

“To date four manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.” 

Another way to safely view the eclipse is an indirect method! A pinhole projector or camera is an easy option that you can make with items in your home. 

What you need

Two pieces of white paper or card stock

Scissors

Aluminum foil

Tape 

Pin or paper clip 

Step 1. Cut a square into the middle of a piece of paper.

Step 2. Covering the square with aluminum foil

Step 3. Poke a small hole in the foil 

Step 4. Test it out. Put your second piece of paper on the grass and stand over it with your foil sheet (have the foil side face up). Have the sun behind you and hold it far away from the paper on the ground. This will make the projection bigger. 

 

You will be able to watch the sun become eclipsed safely by holding up the foil sheet and watching the shadowed “sun” on your second piece of paper! 

Enjoy! Any questions please visit our SkyWitness7 page on WHIO.com

Clear skies for meteor shower this weekend

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 5:53 AM
Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 3:20 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini has a look at how cool we get and how active the meteor shower will be this weekend.

After finding Venus and Mars early in the week, another special treat awaits you in the early morning sky this weekend! 

>> Advice for best viewing of meteor shower

The Orionid meteor shower will put on a good show Friday night into Saturday morning, and Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Debris from Haley's comet will hit Earth's atmosphere. The Orionid shower gets its name because the meteors look like they are coming  from the constellation Orion. This year, 10 to 30 meteors per hour are possible. 

>> Warming trend continues; lower temps arrive next week

This weekend skies will cooperate for great viewing of the Orionid meteor shower!

Temperatures will drop into the middle 50s overnight Saturday into Sunday. The moon will set around 8:14 p.m. so skies will remain dark. Some high clouds will be out there Saturday night, but overall it will still be a good night to view.

>> #SkyWitness7

Get outside and grab a blanket, find a dark spot with a good view of the sky and let your eyes adjust to the darkness. If you capture any photos share them using the hashtag #SkyWitness7!

Tips for viewing a meteor shower

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 7:55 AM

Here's what you need to know before you head outside.

Meteor showers are great events to enjoy at any age. When the sky cooperates, the bright show can keep you entertained for hours.

RELATED: Clear skies for meteor shower this weekend 

Viewing a meteor shower when the skies are clear and dark will set you up for success. Little or no moonlight means the meteors will be easier to see. Head outside after midnight and before dawn. You'll want to find a dark spot away from city lights and let your eyes adjust to the darkness.

RELATED: SkyWitness 7 

Make sure you are prepared for the forecast and dress warmly if you need to. You want to grab a sleeping bag or lawn chair and dedicate at least 30 minutes to looking across the night sky. You won't need a telescope or binoculars because they will limit how much sky is visible to you. The wider the view, the better. Remember to stay patient and enjoy! 

For a calendar of meteor showers throughout the year visit http://www.skywitness7.com

Fall colors nearing peak across Miami Valley

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 6:07 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini talks about our color update from ODNR and forecast heading into the weekend.

Most of the Miami Valley is seeing peak or near peak fall color, according to the latest report from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The reds, oranges and yellows might not be as bright as they were in the past because of the mild start to the month. The cool nights and sunny days this week might help a few slow changing trees to really pop. 

>>RELATED: 8 places to soak up fall’s beauty near Dayton

Sycamore State Park and Indian Lake State Park are seeing peak fall color.

>> Warming trend continues, lower temps arrive next week

The third week of October is typically when the Miami Valley sees the best colors emerge, and true color should show into next week.

Heavy rain or wind can take the leaves off the trees quickly this time of year, but weather this weekend is expected to be mild.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

The rest of this week looks sunny and dry with highs in the low to middle 70s. 

Get outside and enjoy the color change. Share your photos with us using the hashtag #Skywitness7!

Why is the sun red, the sky yellow in London? 

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 5:44 PM

The Reason For The Red Sun And Yellow Skies In London

An eerie weather phenomenon across parts of the United Kingdom is turning the skies an anemic yellow color and making the sun appear blood red.

>> Read more trending news

The anomaly is not the beginning of the end of days or a sign of the apocalypse, scientists said. Instead, it’s directly related to Hurricane Ophelia, which is whipping through the region.

The storm’s tropical air dragged in dust from the Sahara Desert and air pollution from wildfires in Spain and Portugal as it moved north through the Atlantic, creating the strange spectacle, the BBC reported.

The sky in France's Brittany region also turned yellow on Monday, Oct. 16,2017 as nearby Hurricane Ophelia brought a mix of sand from the Sahara and particles from Spain and Portugal's forest fires over the region. (David Vincent/AP)

“The dust gets picked up into the air and goes high up into the atmosphere, and that dust has been dragged high up in the atmosphere above the UK,” BBC weatherman Simon King said, according to the Express.

The blood-red sun Monday morning across the region is a result of the same weather phenomenon creating the yellow skies, according to the U.K.’s  Meteorological Office or Met Office.

“The same southerly winds that have brought us the current warmth have also drawn dust from the Sahara to our latitudes and the dust scatters the blue light from the sun letting more red light through much as at sunrise or sunset,” Met officials said on the agency’s website.

>> Related: Yellowstone supervolcano could erupt much sooner than predicted, study reveals

Social media users in London chronicled the spectacle on Twitter.