Solar Eclipse

You are here

August 1, 2017
Don't miss the solar eclipse happening on August 21, 2017

4 Ways to Watch the Great American Eclipse in San Francisco (Sort Of)

While the San Francisco Bay Area will not be in the direct path of the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in the United States since 1918, there will be several opportunities to watch it from the fringes on Aug. 21, 2017.

Bay Area Discovery Museum

From 10 a.m. to noon, children will be able to make pin-hole viewers at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito to watch a partial eclipse at approximately 10:15 a.m. Other crafts include making a planet from translucent, colored plastic and simulating an eclipse around a light source.

California Academy of Sciences

If the weather cooperates, the staff at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate park will bring out solar telescopes to observe the partial eclipse from the roof and East Garden, starting at 9:30 a.m. If the skies are not clear, a live internet feed of the eclipse will be available in the Naturalist Center and via monitors on the museum floor. The first contact, when the Moon first begins to cross in front of the Sun, is at 9:01 a.m., with maximum eclipse at 10:15 a.m. The last contact, when the Moon completely uncovers the Sun, is at 11:37 a.m. Staff and docents will be on hand to guide visitors in safe observing, using a variety of viewing and projection devices.

Eclipse glasses are already on sale at the Academy Store, and eclipse watchers are advised to purchase theirs now before the supply runs low. For those who are actually planning to see the eclipse firsthand, the Academy hopes to recruit them to participate in their Citizen Science project. For more information and details on the Academy's special programming - including Nightlife's Chasing Shadows planetarium show - visit their eclipse site.


The Exploratorium, along with NASA, will be filming the event from two locations (Madras, OR and Caspar, WY) and share it via live stream on Aug. 21, 2017. The museum will open early at 9 a.m. for the three-hour program. Visitors will be able to watch a partial solar eclipse outside on the Exploratorium’s Plaza. Exploratorium scientists and educators in Oregon, Wyoming and at the museum will share tips on how to view the eclipse safely and how an eclipse happens. The core program and live telescope feeds will also be on the Exploratorium’s website from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. or on their app.

San Francisco Public Library

On Aug. 6, 2017, Andrew Fraknoi, chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College, will describe how eclipses occur, why they are one of nature’s most spectacular shows, and when and where the eclipse will be visible and how to view it safely. This non-technical, family-oriented program begins at 1 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium of the Main Library, 100 Larkin St. Everyone attending will receive a free pair of certified safe eclipse viewing glasses. Fraknoi is the co-author of the new children’s book, “When the Sun Goes Dark.” Copies will be available for sale.

You may also like