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Preparing to Watch the Solar Eclipse

Are you ready for the upcoming solar eclipse?

On Monday, August 21, Seattle will have a spectacular view of the total solar eclipse. At 9:08 am, the moon will begin to move in front of the sun, gradually turning day to night. The eclipse will cause temperatures to drop and darkness to fall over the city, and it will end at 11:38 am. It is dangerous to view the eclipse without special glasses though, and even as the moon almost completely covers the sun at 10:20 am, you shouldn’t watch with your naked eyes.

Be sure to either find some good eclipse viewing glasses or watch the eclipse through a pinhole. Below we give some suggestions on how and where to watch this amazing astronomical event.



Eclipse Viewing Glasses

It is worth noting that not all eclipse viewing glasses are created equal. We recommend following NASA’s guidelines on viewing glasses to be sure that you use glasses that meet adequate safety standards.

According to NASA:

“Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the following criteria:

  • Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
  • Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
  • Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
  • Not use homemade filters
  • Ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones — should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers”


Pinhole Camera

You can also use a pinhole camera to safely view the eclipse. Pinhole cameras project the eclipse so that you can still watch without looking directly into the sky, and they are inexpensive and fun to make yourself! Follow this link, and let NASA show you how to easily make a pinhole camera!



Featured Eclipse Events

There will be many viewing parties around the city. We feature a few below.


Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at South Park Community Center

Monday, August 21, 2017, 8:30 – 11:30 am



Experience the Eclipse at Pacific Science Center

Monday, August 21, 2017, 8:30 am – 6 pm

Join the Pacific Science Center for a whole day of eclipse fun!

COST: FREE for Pacific Science Center Members OR FREE W/ ADMISSION


Great American Solar Eclipse at The Museum of Flight

Monday, August 21, 2017, 9:30 – 11:45 am

COST: FREE (Outside Viewing) OR FREE W/ ADMISSION (Allen Theater Viewing)


Watch on a Screen

You can also watch the eclipse from the ground, sky, and space if you tune into NASA’s live program, “Eclipse Across America: Through the Eyes of NASA.” You can watch the live-stream by visiting or by attending live-stream viewings at the following Seattle libraries:


·         Ballard Branch

·         Beacon Hill Branch

·         Broadview Branch

·         Capitol Hill Branch

·         Central Library

·         Douglass-Truth Branch

·         Greenwood Branch

·         High Point Branch

·         Lake City Branch

·         Northeast Branch

·         Northgate Branch

·         Rainier Beach Branch

·         Southwest Branch

·         West Seattle Branch




NASA Safety Tips

Pacific Science Center: Experience the Eclipse

Time & Date: Eclipse

NASA: How to Make a Pinhole Camera

Seattle Public Library: Eclipse Viewing

Museum of Flight: Great American Solar Eclipse