Solar Eclipse – August 21
Eclipse Times (San Carlos)
First Contact (Eclipse Begins) – 9:01 AM
Museum Opens / Observing Available – 10:00 AM
Maximum Eclipse – 10:15 AM
Last Contact (Eclipse Ends) – 11:37 AM
Event included with Museum admission.
Weather permitting – eclipse not visible if clouds are present.
On Monday, August 21 Earth’s Moon will pass between the Sun and our home planet to create a spectacular astronomical event – a total solar eclipse! Viewers across the country in a narrow band between Oregon and South Carolina will observe the eclipse’s total phase, as the Sun’s visible surface is completely blocked by the Moon. A total eclipse has not been visible from the United States since 1991, and has not crossed any of the contiguous 48 states since 1979.
The San Francisco Bay Area is south of the path of totality, but area residents using safe observation techniques will be able to see 80% of the Sun’s disc covered at 10:15 AM, the time of maximum eclipse. The Hiller Aviation Museum will host an eclipse viewing event from 10 AM – 11:30 AM. Solar telescopes, certified safe solar glasses and eclipse pinhole projection boards will provide multiple ways of safely observing the event.
Observations will continue outside in the Museum’s Courtyard area from opening time until 11:30 AM. Maximum eclipse is at 10:15 AM – arrive early to join us in the waning morning light and safely observe this amazing astronomical phenomena.
Not able to find solar glasses? Visit NASA’s Total Solar Eclipse webpage for .stl and .pdf files that will allow you to print a safe solar projection viewer using either a 3D or conventional paper printer (cardstock suggested for paper viewers). In a pinch, a pinhole punched in a regular index card makes a usable eclipse viewer. Observe the image of the sun cast into the shadow of the card or viewer to see the eclipse.
Near the time of maximum eclipse (around 10:15 AM), natural eclipse projection will occur in the shadow of trees with sunlight filtering through leaves and branches. Each dapple of sunlight sprinkling through the shadow will provide a naturally-projected image of the event.
Available safe observation methods will include:
- Solar telescopes – white light and h-alpha wavelengths
- Solar glasses – purchase in Gift Shop on day of event (while supplies last) or take a glimpse through a loaner pair
- Solar eclipse board – projects eclipse images onto the ground, a wall, or even you!
A limited quantity of solar eclipse glasses will be available to purchase on the day of the event on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to high demand, solar glasses are not available to purchase in our Gift Shop until August 21.