Local plastic surgeon creates solar eclipse viewing app

Eclipse 2017

Total solar eclipse (Image: NASA)

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DECATUR, Ala. – At Decatur Plastic Surgery you’ll meet Doctor Gordon Telepun.

Telepun is surgeon by day, and eclipse enthusiast by night.

“I have been inspired by my travels around the world to see eclipses by the partial eclipse that I saw as a young child in New Jersey,” he says.

Telepun has traveled to Africa and on the Mediterranean Sea to view and photograph solar eclipses

“This is a great opportunity for people in the United States to see an eclipse, because eclipses are very difficult to get to,” he says.

The plastic surgeon has been working on a program to help those who want to observe and photograph the August 21 solar eclipse. The app is more than 15 years in the making.

“When we wrote the first program our 2002 eclipse it ran on Windows 98 and Windows Pocket PC and it was a basic timing program; you had to enter all of the contact times manually,” he said.

But with current cell phone technology his app ‘Solar Eclipse Timer’ does that on it’s own.

“One tap the phone finds your location. It calculates your precise contact times for your location. The second tap loads the contact times into the main timer, and then you’ll be ready to be timed through the eclipse,” said Telepun.

The app also uses your time zone — which means you don’t have to worry about calculating into universal time.

There are other eclipse timer apps out there, but his is unique in a few ways.

“My timer is the only timer for this eclipse that will talk to you and tell you what is happening during the eclipse. So, it’s kind of like having your own astronomer with you for the eclipse talking you through all of the events,” he said.

The app talks you through when the temperature drops during an eclipse as the lighting changes, and the possibility of seeing shadow bands before totality.

It also tells you when you can take off your protective glasses and when to put them back on.

The app is available for both Android and iPhone. It costs $1.99.

For more information on the app, visit www.solareclipsetimer.com.