How to watch the August 21 total eclipse

How to watch the August 21 total eclipse

According to the  10-day weather forecast, Monday August 21 should be a sunny day in Chicago.

Weather permitting, if you are anywhere in the continental United States, you will be able to see at least a partial solar eclipse on August 21. Please, please, please, wear eclipse glasses!  Many places, including libraries and museums, will be giving out free eclipse glasses. The only time it is safe to look directly at the sun is during the brief minutes of absolute totality.

The path of the total eclipse will cross the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. Thousands of people will gather along the path of totality. People around the world will be watching.

Those of us in Chicago will experience a partial eclipse. What will that look like? To give you an idea, here is a video from Chicago Tribune Graphics---

If you are in Chicago, and would like to celebrate the eclipse with other like-minded people, the Adler Planetarium is planning an eclipse party.  You can find out more, here.

You could make a real holiday of it.  There is a  ferry from Navy Pier to the Museum Campus and the Planetarium. The boat travels  along the lakefront, with a view of the magnificent Chicago skyline.  It is really an unforgettable experience.

An alternative  way to watch the  eclipse is through a pinhole camera. This is a DIY project that anyone can do. Here is a tutorial from  Maybe it will inspire you to try pinhole photography!

For those who want a virtual experience, there are several places that will be live streaming the total solar eclipse.

SLOOH will be based in Idaho. You can follow them here.

Astronomy Magazine will be live streaming from Wyoming. You can follow them here.

NASA will also be covering the eclipse live, from earth and from the International Space Station. You can follow them here.

For more about the total solar eclipse on August 21, you can read my posts  here and here.



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  • To get back to a subject of a couple of years ago, the crows are back, cawing like crazy. I saw 3 flying tree to tree. I also just saw a falcon or maybe a female eagle (some kind of gray bird of prey) perched in a pine tree for about 3 minutes before it flew off

  • In reply to jack:

    Greetings, Jack! How wonderful to see the crows. The other day, I saw a blue jay, which I have not seen around here for years. They too were devastated by West Nile virus.

    I wonder if it could be an eagle you saw. There are bald eagles along the Illinois River again....

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Sources indicate that female bald eagles are still "bald."

    I'm not sure what it is, looking at various Google galleries, but this falcon gallery looks closer.

    The other thing I noticed was that there was a skunk in the yard, but once this bird appeared, there wasn't.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks, Jack. I also learned that the female bald eagles are larger than the males. Fascinating.

    Anyway, you say it seems more like a falcon. Aren't they beautiful? Fearsome birds of prey, too.
    I would not be surprised if it scared the skunk away, though skunks are not their usual prey.

    Could it have been a hawk? They do hunt skunks.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    I was thinking possibly hawk, but I still think falcon. I also buy the "scared" theory, as the skunk wasn't in the bird's beak, and the little stinker didn't leave a stink.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Update on the skunk, now skunks. I saw them scoot under a concrete stoop on my neighbor's house, and condo management had a control company put a trap outside there. Even if the co catches those two, I'm sure that doesn't eliminate the problem.

    If they didn't stink, I wouldn't have a problem, as I don't have a grievance against the chipmunk who has set up shop under my patio.

  • In reply to jack:

    Oh Jack--what will happen to the skunks? Will they be relocated?

  • Great post! I showed the video to my granddaughter and we have approved glasses. I sure wish I had one of those planets mobiles to give her a better idea.

    Glad to hear that the weather will be clear!

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    Thanks for reading, Kathy! Isn't that a great video? The graphic from the previous post is really cool, too. It shows how lunar eclipses happen at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons.

    I'm so glad about that clear sky forecast!

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