Aug 07 2017

Get Ready For The Solar Eclipse, Aug 21

Published by at 7:00 am under Books & Events,Weather & Sky

Map of the Total Solar Eclipse on 21 August 2017 (image from NASA)

Map of the Total Solar Eclipse on 21 August 2017 (image from

By now I’m sure you’ve heard …

Two weeks from today on 21 August 2017 there will be a total eclipse of the sun across the United States.  The moon will pass between Earth and Sun, casting its shadow on our continent.

In a narrow band 70 miles wide, from Oregon to South Carolina, the sun will disappear completely for about two minutes. Folks eager to witness the total eclipse have made plans to visit sites in its path including Nashville, TN and Charleston, SC.

Pittsburgh will see only a partial eclipse but there will be plenty to watch. The moon will move across the sun from 1:10p to 3:55p with maximum coverage resembling the crescent below at 2:35p.  Don’t watch without special glasses and, for your scope and camera, special filters!  See below.

Mockup of partial eclipse at maximum as it will be seen in Pittsburgh on21 Aug 2017 (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Mockup of partial eclipse at maximum as it will be seen in Pittsburgh on 21 Aug 2017 (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Where to watch the eclipse in Pittsburgh, 21 August 2017 … some of the many locations.

  • On your computer: See the entire eclipse from coast to coast on NASA’s Eclipse Live Stream. The shadow begins in Oregon at 9:04a PDT (12:04p in Pittsburgh) with totality from 10:16a PDT (1:16p here) to 2:48p in South Carolina.  You don’t need filters to watch online.
  • At Carnegie Science Center: The weather won’t matter at Carnegie Science Center. Outdoors, watch through special solar observation equipment.  Indoors at Buhl Planetarium. Click here for info & directions.
  • Sidewalk Astronomy: Weather permitting 1:30p to 3:00p outside the Staghorn Garden Cafe, 517 Greenfield Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15207.   John English will set up his scope to project the sun’s image on the wall so you can watch its shadow without looking at it.
  • In your own backyard:  Prepare in advance! Read Eclipse2017: Who, What, Where, When and How and get …

Special solar eclipse glasses, filters or pinhole viewers to watch the solar eclipse.

Don’t risk going blind or damaging your camera or scope by viewing the eclipse without protection! Click here for NASA’s list of safe viewing methods including solar eclipse glasses, pinhole viewers and filters for your equipment + how to use them.

Solar eclipse glasses are inexpensive (only a couple of dollars) at the Carnegie Science Center Gift Shop or online but only buy from reputable vendors listed at American Astronomy Society! Sunglasses and fake glasses won’t protect you.

Here’s an example of the real thing from B&H Photo Video on the reputable vendor list.

Lunt solar eclipse viewing glasses from B&H Photo

Lunt solar eclipse viewing glasses from B&H Photo

I hope it isn’t cloudy on Monday August 21!


(photo credits: Click on the images to see the originals. Globe from Partial eclipse image from Wikimedia Commons. Lunt solar eclipse glasses from B&H Photo Video)

One response so far

One Response to “Get Ready For The Solar Eclipse, Aug 21”

  1. Janet Campagnaon 07 Aug 2017 at 2:46 pm

    So totally ready, already have viewers. My husband’s 65th birthday, too. You can also become a citizen scientist for NASA, either on their Facebook page, or by downloading the App at You record weather conditions, etc. and how they change.

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