A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon comes between the earth and the sun. If the moon completely covers the sun, a total solar eclipse occurs. During a total solar eclipse, day turns into night, and we can plainly see one of nature’s most incredible sights, the Sun’s corona.
Due to the brightness of the sun, the corona (a ring of hot gas around the sun’s perimeter) is not visible to the naked eye. However, during a total solar eclipse, the Moon blocks out bright sunlight, and we see the corona. It’s definitely a bucket-list-worthy event that doesn’t happen often.
Safe Eclipse Viewing
The first thing to know when planning to view a solar eclipse is eye safety.
While a total solar eclipse is safe to look at, the sun at any other time is dangerously bright. We all flinch from the brightness if we try to look at the sun, which keeps us from looking at it directly. But the problem with a partial eclipse is, it blocks some of the brightness making you think it is safe, yet is still as dangerous as trying to look directly at the sun. Your eyes will be damaged before you know it.
Ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, as well as homemade filters are not safe for looking at the partially eclipsed (or uneclipsed) Sun.
To look at any portion of the partial eclipse before totality, you must use special-purpose “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. To be safe, the viewer must meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for these products. Read more about eye safety at eclipse.aas.org.
During totality, it is as dark as night. The total solar eclipse is about as bright as a full moon, and just as safe to look at. But once the moon starts to uncover the sun again, it becomes dangerous to look at without the right kind of eye protection.
August 21, 2017 Eclipse
The first total solar eclipse in almost 40 years will cross the US on August 21.
In Seattle, about 95% of the Sun will be covered around 10:20 a.m. by the Moon passing in front of it. So, we will see a partial eclipse, not a full eclipse.
Eclipse Presentations around Puget Sound
Local libraries and other organizations are holding informational sessions about eclipses and how to view it safely. Some have invited experts to talk with you, some are offering free eclipse glasses (while supplies last!) for you to take home, and others have interactive exhibits. Get there early to get a seat for these popular events.
For free eclipse presentations that are open to the public, check our calendar below for an upcoming eclipse event near you. Or, search for “eclipse” in the Seattle Public library calendar, King County Public Library calendar, or Sno-Isle Library calendar.
Woodmont Library, 26809 Pacific Hwy S, Des Moines, WA 98198
Boulevard Park Library, 12015 Roseberg Avenue South, Seattle WA 98168
Redmond Library, 15990 NE 85th Street, Redmond, WA 98052
Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Southwest Branch Library, 9010 35th Ave. S.W., Seattle, WA 98126
South Park Branch Library, 8604 Eighth Ave. S. at South Cloverdale Street, Seattle, WA 98108
Capitol Hill Branch Library, 425 Harvard Ave. E., Seattle, WA 98102
Northeast Branch Library, 6801 35th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98115
High Point Branch Library, 3411 S.W. Raymond St., Seattle, WA 98126
NewHolly Branch Library, 7058 32nd Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
Snohomish Library, 311 Maple Ave., Snohomish, WA 98290
Edmonds Library, 650 Main St, Edmonds, WA 98020
Bellevue Library, 1111 110th Avenue NE Bellevue WA 98004
Des Moines Library, 21620 11th Avenue South Des Moines WA 98198
Shoreline Library, 345 NE 175th Street Shoreline WA 98155
West Seattle Branch Library, 2306 42nd Ave. S.W., Seattle, WA 98116
Stanwood Library, 9701 271st St NW, Stanwood, WA 98292
Freeland Library, 5495 Harbor Ave, Freeland, WA 98249
Mill Creek Library, 15429 Bothell Everett Hwy, Mill Creek, WA 98012
Mukilteo Library, 4675 Harbour Pointe Blvd., Mukilteo, WA 98275
Coupeville Library, 788 NW Alexander St, Coupeville, WA 98239
Clinton Library, 4781 Deer Lake Rd, Clinton, WA 98236
Camano Island Library, 848 N. Sunrise Blvd., Camano Island, WA 98282
Brier Library, 23303 Brier Rd, Brier, WA 98036
Beacon Hill Library, 2821 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98144
Marysville Library, 6120 Grove St, Marysville, WA 98270
Delridge Branch, 5423 Delridge Way S.W., Seattle, WA 98106
Northgate Branch, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E,. Seattle, WA 98125
Greenwood Branch Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98103
South Park Community Center, 8319 Eighth Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98108
Bryant Neighborhood Playground, 4103 NE 65th St., Seattle, WA 98115
Langely Library, 104 2nd St / PO Box 365, Langley, WA 98260