THE STRAIGHT UP
LOOK UP! Let’s Nerd Out Over the Solar Eclipse
y now, I’m sure everyone knows a solar eclipse, which has been christened “The Great American Eclipse,” will take place right above our heads on Monday, August 21. The eclipse will be visible across North America, but we here in Columbia are lucky to be right in middle of the path of totality, or the path the moon’s shadow makes as it crosses the sun. This means we’ll be able to witness the sheer, cosmic awesomeness of the moon completely covering the sun. You might have seen pictures of solar eclipses or watched one onTV, but experiencing such an event for yourself is unforgettable. I can’t wait! The eclipse starts at 1:13 p.m. and full light won’t be back until after 4 p.m. The “big show” begins at 2:41 p.m., and the moon will completely cover the sun for a full 2 minutes and 30 seconds, which is the longest total eclipse on the East Coast. Did you know stars and bright planets will be visible during that two minutes? Or that the temperature will drop at least five degrees? And when the sun comes back, birds sing as if it were daybreak! How cool is that!?
If I am coming off as really nerdy about this event, it’s because I am! When something is unusual or literally out of this world, you can bet I’m going to nerd out about it. Back in the early 2000s, I was still in dental school, and the Earth was about to see an incredible meteor shower. My friends and I were super excited! Astronomers reported this shower — it might have been the Leonids meteor shower — would be the most active meteor shower in decades. At least a thousand meteors would streak across the sky every hour! We did our research and located the perfect area with as little light pollution as possible to watch the show. On the morning of the shower, wake-up alarms went off at 2 a.m., and we drove an hour outside of the city, where we found an open field. Bundled in our sleeping bags to combat the winter chill, we laid out in the field and watched as the night sky filled with countless shooting stars. We ended up falling asleep in the field and didn’t wake up until the sun began to rise the next morning.
light-years. The office will be open for business that Monday, but during the eclipse, everyone is invited to come watch with us. We’ll have eclipse glasses to hand out and snacks to share. What do you eat during a solar eclipse? Sun Chips and Moon Pies, of course! This is an incredible event and I cannot be more psyched to live in Columbia right now, where we will have the best view on the East Coast. To celebrate, this newsletter is 100 percent about the solar eclipse! Take a look at some of the awesome eclipse-centric articles we have featured inside. “YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN PICTURES OF SOLAR ECLIPSES OR WATCHED ONE ON TV, BUT EXPERIENCING SUCH AN EVENT FOR YOURSELF IS UNFORGETTABLE.”
And don’t forget to look up on August 21. This will be a sight you won’t soon forget.
That meteor shower was incredible, but I bet the upcoming solar eclipse will outshine it by
– Dr. Leslie Pitner
Smile big. Smile often. • 803-781-5225
WHEN THE MOON COVERS THE SUN
The Most Important Solar Eclipses in History
This August, the United States is the site of an incredible total solar eclipse. The Great American Eclipse will occur on August 21, 2017, and there’s a reason people are so excited. Solar eclipses have been occurring since the moon first began to orbit the Earth, but no matter how many times they happen, each one proves to be just as awesome as the last. There are many wild stories around these magnificent events, and some cite solar eclipses as evil omens or the result of angry gods. While these are all pure superstition, there have been times when a celestial event occurring hundreds of miles from Earth directly impacted our planet. Check out a few of history’s greatest solar eclipses. OffWithTheir Heads (2136 B.C.E.) One frightful day in the 22nd century, a dragon tried to eat the sun — at least, that’s how the Chinese legend of Hi and Ho starts out. Hi and Ho were royal astronomers who got drunk and failed to warn the emperor of a solar eclipse. As the moon began to block out the light, it looked to the people of ancient China like some massive beast was devouring the sun. They banged drums and made loud noises to scare away the dragon. After the sun returned, the emperor was furious and ordered Hi and Ho to be executed for not warning him of the dragon’s approach. This legend still delights modern astronomers as a cautionary tale to never drink and observe. Discovering an Element (August, 18, 1868)
high-pitched. It was first discovered by French astronomer Jules Janssen while he observed a solar eclipse through a prism in 1868. Janssen noted a bright yellow light emanating from the sun, which had never been recorded before. Though Janssen thought the light was caused by sodium, English astronomer Norman Lockyer realized it was, in fact, a new element, which he named helium, after the Greek sun god, Helios. It would be another 27 years before helium was discovered on Earth. Einstein’s Eclipse (May 29, 1919) In 1916, when physicist Albert Einstein published his theory of general relativity, he proposed the pull of gravity from any body of mass could curve space itself. Einstein predicted that, due to general relativity, light does not travel in a perfectly straight line, but instead curves ever so slightly. This theory seemed impossible to test with the current technology, until astronomers from Great Britain devised an experiment to measure light coming from the Hyades star cluster during a total solar eclipse in 1919. They were astounded to find Einstein’s predictions were correct, proving general relativity. Einstein appeared on the front page of newspapers around the world and became a celebrity of theoretical physics. Solar eclipses are incredible events that often inspire amazing stories. If possible, don’t miss out on the Great American eclipse this August. Witness the awesome sight for yourself.
Helium is one of the most abundant elements in the universe. This light gas causes balloons to float and makes your voice
RISE OF THE MACHINES Robots Where You Least Expect Them
SureSmile’s precise accuracy moves your teeth directly to their ideal location, a feat that would be impossible with
Science fiction warned us about dangerous robots, but we didn’t listen. We’ve allowed robots into every aspect of our lives. They clean our floors, build products in our factories, and even assist educators in teaching our children. But rather than bring on the mechanical apocalypse, robots might instead solve the world’s big problems. Honeybees are on the verge of extinction. In 2016, the United States lost 44 percent of its bee colonies. This could spell an agricultural doomsday, as crops around the world rely on bees for pollination. Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science andTechnology hopes to offer a partial solution in the form on tiny drones designed for artificial pollination. These drones would perform the function of
a honeybee, without the threat of stinging an innocent bystander.
mere human hands. On average, patients
Amazing robots can be found in places you might not expect, like Pitner Orthodontics. In the office, Dr. Leslie harnesses the latest in robotic technologies for the good of your teeth with the SureSmile treatment. Braces are a pain, no matter how you look at it, but SureSmile allows patients to spend less time with metal strapped to their teeth and enjoy their new smile faster. With 3-D models, Dr. Leslie uses her orthodontic experience to calculate exactly how your teeth need to move to achieve your perfect smile. She sends her calculations to the SureSmile robot, which then creates a customized archwire.
spend 33 percent less time wearing SureSmile braces and see stunning results. TheWorld Journal of Orthodontics reports, “Patients treated with SureSmile experienced overall reduced treatment time and better-quality results than those treated conventionally.” We might still be we one Skynet away from the robot uprising, but at least our teeth will look great while we fight against our mechanical overlords. Call 803-781-5225 to schedule a consultation and learn how the power of robotics can help you realize your dream smile.
Grilled Mexican STREET CORN
INGREDIENTS • ¼ cup mayonnaise • ¼ cup sour cream • ½ cup finely crumbled feta cheese • ½ teaspoon chili powder
• 1 medium clove garlic, minced • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves • 4 ears corn, shucked • 1 lime, cut into wedges
1. Set burners of gas grill to high heat and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. 2. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro in large bowl. Stir until well combined and set aside. 3. Place corn on hot grill, rotating occasionally. Grill until cooked through and charred in spots on all sides, for about 8 minutes. 4. Transfer corn to bowl with cheese mixture and use large spoon to evenly coat each ear on all sides. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.
Smile big. Smile often. • 803-781-5225
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
5953 Wescott Rd. Columbia, SC 29212 803-781-5225 Monday–Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.drpitner.com
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Mark Your Calendars!
History’s Most Amazing Solar Eclipses
Has the Robot Uprising Begun?
Grilled Mexican Street Corn
Local Events: Eclipse Edition
Plan Your Eclipse Weekend FUN IN THE SUN SHADOWOF THE MOON
TheGrape Eclipse 4-DayWeekend When: Friday, August 18, throughMonday, August 21 Where: TheWineryMercer House, Lexington, SouthCarolina Admission: $35, single-day passes available Website: localwineevents.com Turn the twominutes of solar eclipse totality into a weekend-long party! Enjoy bonfires, potluck picnics, jazz, dog walks, andmore, all paired with some of the best wines in South Carolina. Hang out for one day or plan a long weekend in the vineyard.Tickets are not available on-site, so be sure to reserve yours in advance.
Where: Koger Center for theArts, Columbia, SouthCarolina Admission: See website for pricing Website: scphilharmonic.com/calendar.aspx Calling all Jedi Knights, Sith lords, and bounty hunters of all ages! It’s time to relive your favorite space opera as the SouthCarolina Philharmonic presents “StarWars Musiclipse.” Experience a live performance of JohnWilliam’s iconic score, complete with costumes and a special light show.What could be a better soundtrack for a once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse weekend? Total EclipseTailgate at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds When: Monday, August 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where: SouthCarolina State Fairgrounds,
Columbia, SouthCarolina Admission: Parking cost depends on type of vehicle Website: scstatefair.org/total-eclipse-parking Searching for the best place to catch the solar eclipse?Then load up your family and joinWLTX19 at the SouthCarolina State Fairgrounds.You’ll find food, entertainment, plenty of parking, and a perfect, unobstructed view of the historic eclipse. Don’t forget your eclipse glasses! These are just some of themany great events celebratingColombia’s unparalleled view of the total solar eclipse.Visit totaleclipsecolumbiasc. com/event/ to check out more eclipse-related events and plan the perfect eclipse-viewing weekend for you and your family!
StarWars Musiclipse When: Sunday, August 20, 3:30 p.m.
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