Answers to solar eclipse questions you're too embarrassed to ask
Looking for a venue to view the solar eclipse Monday, Aug. 21?
People in a 70-mile-wide path stretching from Salem, Ore., to Charleston, S.C., will experience a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. Everyone else in the United States will be able to see a partially blocked sun. The last total solar eclipse visible in the United States was in 1979. The next will be in 2024.
In Sacramento, the moon will start to cover the sun at 9:02 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 21. Maximum coverage, about 79 percent, will be at 10:17 a.m. The eclipse will be over at 11:39 a.m.
You’ll be able to see the eclipse – protect your eyes! – from just about anywhere not blocked by trees or tall buildings, but plenty of organizations are planning public viewing events. Here’s a partial list of events planned in the Sacramento region:
▪ California State University, Sacramento, will host a party starting at 9 a.m. on top of the American River levee just north of the Hornet Bookstore. Some telescopes with solar filters, pinhole cameras and eclipse viewing glasses will be available.
▪ Powerhouse Science Center, 3615 Auburn Blvd., will host a celebration starting at 9 a.m. in conjunction with the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society. Eclipse-themed planetarium shows start at 11 a.m. with paid admission.
▪ The California Public Utilities Commission will host a party on the west steps of the State Capitol starting at 9 a.m. The event also will feature arts and crafts activities along with discussions with NASA ambassadors.
▪ The Yolo County Library will host family-friendly, free viewing events at the Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library, 315 East 14th Street in Davis, and the Arthur F. Turner Community Library, 1212 Merkley Avenue in West Sacramento. Both events start at 9:30 a.m. The first 100 attendees in Davis and first 150 attendees in West Sacramento will receive free eclipse viewing glasses, limit one per family in Davis.
▪ World of Wonders Science Museum, 2 N. Sacramento St. in Lodi, plans a number of learning events from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eclipse viewing glasses will be available for purchase.
▪ SkyDance Skydiving, 24390 Aviation Ave. in Davis, plans a Total Eclipse HALO Tandem SkyDive package for $1,499, though there’s already a waiting list.
▪ American River Conservancy will host a viewing event starting at 9 a.m. in the Placerville area. You must contact the organization to sign up and receive information on the location.
If your organization plans a public eclipse-viewing party not listed here, please let us know and we’ll add it to our list.