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Everything you need to know about the eclipse in Sacramento

What the eclipse will look like in Sacramento

Here’s what to expect when the solar eclipse occurs in Sacramento on August 21, 2017. Views from other Northern California locations will be similar.
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Here’s what to expect when the solar eclipse occurs in Sacramento on August 21, 2017. Views from other Northern California locations will be similar.

On Monday, demons steal the sun. More or less.

[5 ‘alternative facts’ about eclipses]

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.

Everyone is excited about the Solar Eclipse that is happening on Aug. 21, so here are some answers to those questions that you want to ask, but are too embarrassed to.

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.

[Never has a solar eclipse been so timely. At last, something to inspire awe.]

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.

[7 things to know about watching the eclipse in Sacramento]

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.

[Didn’t get your eclipse glasses in time? Here are other ways to watch it]

You don't necessarily need fancy equipment to watch one of the sky's most awesome shows: a solar eclipse. With just a few simple supplies, you can make a pinhole camera that allows you to view the event safely and easily.

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.

[Why you should protect your eyes while watching the eclipse]

Also, don’t fall for fake glasses, reportedly being sold online, that don’t offer the proper protection.

Demand for solar eclipse glasses ahead of the August 21 "Great American Solar Eclipse" is so high, scammers are making counterfeits.

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.

[Do pets need eclipse glasses too?]

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.

[Who’s hosting eclipse-viewing parties in the Sacramento region?]

Is there a livestream?

Of course. You can watch a NASA livestream of the eclipse on your computer starting at 9 a.m. Pacific.

[Eclipse live: How to view the solar eclipse]

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.

[Schools debate how to handle eclipse. Let kids outside or sequester them indoors?]

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.

[Early-bird eclipse viewers jam Oregon highways]

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.

[Enjoy the eclipse, but ease off on the electricity]

[SMUD gets 10 percent of its power from solar. The utility is preparing for the eclipse.]

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.

[Will this eclipse hype ever end? In about 500 million years]

But it can’t end soon enough for some people.

[‘Can’t wait to nap.’ Not everyone’s excited about today’s eclipse.]

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.

[Bonnie Tyler to perform her hit song ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ during eclipse]

Need anything more be said?

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