"All American" Eclipse of the Sun

When: August 21, 2017 - 9:00am

The “All-American” Eclipse of the Sun

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total eclipse of the Sun will cross the continental United States for the first time in more than a century.  A total eclipse is when the Sun is completely hidden by the Moon, the sky becomes dark, and the Sun’s faint atmosphere becomes visible – like a beautiful halo. 

          This total eclipse will ONLY be visible on a narrow track 60-70 miles wide, stretching from Oregon to South Carolina across the U.S.  Because no other country will get to see this total eclipse, it’s being nicknamed “The All-American Eclipse.”  

          The rest of the U.S. and other parts of North and Central America will see a partial eclipse, where the Moon covers only a portion of the Sun.  A partial eclipse may not be as awe-inspiring and memorable as a total eclipse, but it is still a beautiful experience that will not quickly be forgotten. 

          In the San Francisco Bay Area, the partial eclipse will begin at 9:01 am, and reach maximum (76% of the Sun’s area covered by the Moon) at 10:15 am. By 11:37 am, the Sun will be uncovered once more. 

          A free PDF-format booklet on the eclipse, where it will be visible, and how to watch it safely is available on the web from the page: http://nsta.org/solarscience   One of the authors is astronomer Andrew Fraknoi, who will begin teaching at SF State OLLI in the fall, and who provided this wonderful synopsis.

San Francisco Bay Area