The solar eclipse is coming, and despite what you may have read in the dark depths of the internet or heard from a discrepant coworker, it won’t have any negative effects on technology or AV installations.
On August 21st, the solar eclipse can be viewed along the Oregon coast, then travel across Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina before exiting at the coast of South Carolina. If you’re not in the direct path, you’ll still be able to see a partial eclipse.
The solar eclipse is a rare and beautiful occurrence, but one which has many myths surrounding it — especially concerning AV installations. Allow us to debunk those for you below.
Myth #1: Cell phone service will be interrupted
You might experience some problems with service, but that’s not because of the eclipse. With millions of people viewing and tweeting about the event, coverage may be spotty. That’s especially true in less-populated towns that don’t have the infrastructure other areas have but may see the population increase by five or six times the usual number of residents.
Cell phone providers have a game plan to handle the increased traffic for the past year and a half leading up to the event. Portable cell phone towers are employed by all the major providers in some of the total eclipse areas, including AT&T, Verizon, Spring and T-Mobile.
Myth #2: We won’t have enough electricity
You won’t notice any difference in electricity. Solar power may experience a drop, but electric grid operators will manage the power supply as usual by directing electricity to areas where it’s needed.
Output will be increased from other sources, such as wind, geothermal, nuclear, fossil power and
Myth #3: The eclipse will fry my smartphone if I take a picture
Opinions vary, but why take a chance with such an expensive piece of equipment? Most experts say you shouldn’t expose your camera to the eclipse for a long time by taking a video. And taking a still picture will result in something that just looks like a blob.
By covering the lens with an extra pair of the solar viewing glasses you need to wear to protect your eyes, you’ll be able to get a little more detail in your photo. And it will help protect your camera to limit the amount of light that reaches the lens.
There remains one great unknown — traffic. Will people take the day off to watch the solar eclipse and drive to see it, producing Woodstock-type traffic jams across the country? And will that leave other areas with lighter traffic than usual? Those are questions no one will be able to answer until the next day.