On Monday, demons steal the sun. More or less.
Or, if you prefer, the scientific version: A solar eclipse happens when the moon’s orbit passes in front of the sun and the moon blocks some of the sun from view. In a total solar eclipse, the moon fully blocks the sun.
This year, the eclipse will fully block the sun Monday in a 70-mile-wide band along a path across the country that starts in Oregon. The rest of the country, including Sacramento, will be in the partial shadow provided by the penumbra, experiencing a partial eclipse.
It’s the first total eclipse in the U.S. since 1979, and the first to cross the entire U.S. in 99 years. The next total eclipse won’t be visible from the U.S. until 2024.
In California, the moon will start to edge into the sun at 9:02 a.m. The maximum eclipse will take place at 10:17 a.m., and the partial eclipse will end at 11:45 a.m.
Here’s what you need to know.
Where can I get eclipse glasses?
Judging by online readership, this might be the No. 1 question for would-be Sacramento eclipse-viewers right now.
The bad news: Most Sacramento stores already are sold out.
The good news: You can still make your own or go to a public viewing event.
Whatever you do, don’t look at the eclipse without eclipse glasses or some other form of eye protection. It’s dangerous.
Seriously, you can go blind. No joke.
Also, don’t fall for fake glasses, reportedly being sold online, that don’t offer the proper protection.
Can my dog or cat watch the eclipse?
Dogs and cats also can suffer eye damage from looking at the eclipse without eye protection, but they’re a lot less likely than people to stare directly at the sun long enough to cause a problem. Make of that what you will.
Where can I watch the eclipse?
Just about anywhere you have a good view of the sun, but universities, libraries and science centers are just some of the places around Sacramento offering public viewing parties.
Some events will feature experts or special equipment for viewing the eclipse.
Is there a livestream?
Of course. You can watch a NASA livestream of the eclipse on your computer starting at 9 a.m. Pacific.
What’s planned at local schools?
It varies from school to school, and even class to class, but Sacramento educators are struggling with a desire to let children take part in a rare event versus concerns that students could suffer eye damage from looking directly at the eclipse. Some schools will keep younger children inside as a precaution.
Should I head to Oregon to view the eclipse?
Probably not a good idea, unless you have already made plans. The Oregon State Police report that some highways in the state are already clogged with early-bird eclipse viewers, most notably State Highway 26 near Prineville in central Oregon. Drivers on their way to a nearby music festival encompassing the eclipse backed up traffic on the highway 30 miles on Wednesday and 15 miles Thursday.
Hey, what’s an eclipse going to do to solar power?
As you can probably guess, the sun vanishing isn’t exactly awesome for solar power operations. Fortunately, it’s not a total eclipse here and will last only a short while. Also, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District will have electricity reserves ready to fill any gaps in power resulting from a drop in solar energy.
Can it just be over already?
In the short term, the eclipse ends in California around 11:30 a.m. In the long term, well, you’ve got a long wait.
But it can’t end soon enough for some people.
Where can I watch Bonnie Tyler sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” during the eclipse?
It’s not a rhetorical question. And the answer’s not “on YouTube.” Well, okay, it is, but Tyler’s also scheduled to perform her 1983 hit live aboard Royal Caribbean’s “Totale Eclipse Cruise,” which departs Orlando, Fla., on Sunday.
Need anything more be said?