Tips for viewing (and enjoying) Monday’s solar eclipse

Astronomer Alex Filippenko, an admitted eclipse addict, offers tips on how to observe and enjoy the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse. (UC Berkeley video by Roxanne Makasdjian and Stephen McNally)

Anyone planning to observe the solar eclipse on Aug. 21 should obtain a pair of certified eclipse glasses (see American Astronomical Society recommendations), or create a pinhole camera to view a projection of the sun. You can only safely remove the glasses during the couple of minutes of totality; they must be worn when looking at the partial eclipse leading up to and following totality, or when viewing the partial eclipse from outside the zone of totality. People in the San Francisco Bay Area will see only a partial eclipse, with the moon blocking about 75 percent of the sun (see interactive map for details).

The total solar eclipse – the first visible from the continental U.S. since 1979 – will traverse the entire country in a band about 70 miles wide, beginning on the Oregon coast and ending 90 minutes later off the coast of South Carolina. Many millions of people along the path of totality are expected to watch as the moon eclipses the sun, while even more outside the path of totality will see a partial solar eclipse.

Get more info about the Eclipse Megamovie Project at their website,

Also, download the project’s app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

For more information about the 2017 total solar eclipse and the Eclipse Megamovie Project – a collaboration between UC Berkeley and Google – read the online story.