The Great American Eclipse of 2017 is almost upon us. Are you making a fast break for the path of totality? Or will you be keeping off the roads and hoping to catch a glimpse of the partial eclipse from where you are?
If you’re still uncertain about your plans for Monday, Vox created an interactive graphic that, based on your zip code, shows you exactly what the solar eclipse will look like for your location. It also shows the timeline of when to view where.
Check out what it will look like where you are, or a few potential locations you could get to, and make a plan based on that! For instance, this is how the eclipse will look in Boston at 2:47 PM on Monday August 21.
Eclipse Megamovie also created a really cool simulator for viewer location planning. Just search your city and press play to watch how the sun will move across the sky, when it will turn into a partial or total eclipse, and what that will look like for your area. We certainly know Nashville, TN is going to be a popular spot!
But whether you’re fortunate enough to be in the path of totality or are just seeing a partial eclipse, the same viewing dangers persist. Looking directly at the eclipse at all can damage your eyes or even blind you. So what are your options for being a part of this special moment in time and successfully viewing the 2017 solar eclipse?
3 WAYS TO WATCH THE 2017 SOLAR ECLIPSE:
Get Some Glasses, If You Can Find Them
If you haven’t already purchased proper eclipse viewing eyewear by now, you may be up a certain dirty creek without a paddle. High-demand for the safety glasses has left most stores around the country sold out, and online retailers have been struggling to keep up supplies as well.
Those lucky enough to be in the path of totality, that 70-mile wide path stretching from Oregon to South Caroline, will for 2 minutes not have to wear glasses to view the solar eclipse. When the sun is entirely covered by the moon and the total eclipse is happening, experts say you can safely look at it without protective eyewear. But be extremely careful and mindful of the time spent watching. You must put glasses on or look away before the edges of the solar disc reemerge.
For the rest of us sitting outside the path of totality, eyewear beyond the strength of normal sunglasses is a must for viewing at all times. If you search for public viewings in your city, you may find that local libraries or museums are hosting gatherings for viewers and even may be providing a first-come-first-served stock of safety glasses. Consider yourself lucky if you happen upon a pair!
Make a Pinhole Projector
According to NASA, you don’t need those special safety glasses to enjoy the solar eclipse. In fact, using just a few household supplies, you can make a pinhole projector for safe viewing. What do you need for this project?
- Cereal Box (or similar box you can easily hold)
- Aluminum Foil
- 5 minutes or less
This video below demonstrates exactly how to construct and use a pinhole projector to safely view the solar eclipse.
If on Monday, when the eclipse is happening in your city or town, you can’t make it to an open field, mountain peak, or rooftop, there are still plenty of ways to watch. Ways that don’t risk your eyesight and that are going to most likely give you a better viewing perspective than you may have outside on your own anyway.
Space.com has compiled a list of all the best eclipse livestreams you can tune into, including feeds from NASA, Exploratorium, ABC, CNN, Science Channel, and more.
The University of Maine High Altitude Ballooning Team is also up to something pretty cool! They will be launching two balloons out of Tennessee and South Carolina, each one with cameras attached to capture photos and videos from 100,000 feet up in the atmosphere, and collaborating with 55 other teams to stream those videos and images from the edge of space straight to NASA’s Eclipse Across America Livestream.
I for one plan on tuning into that livestream throughout the day, as well as watching how the eclipse plays out for adventure-seekers across social media who have committed to chasing the totality. Then when it’s time for the partial eclipse in Boston, you will likely find me up on my roof with a cut-up Cheerios box!