You just heard about today's solar eclipse and you can't drive anywhere, but still want to check it out? No problem, we got you covered. You can still view safely from the city and suburbs without eclipse glasses.
Here's you need to know:
From Chicago the solar eclipse will not be total, so you need to wear eclipse glasses the entire time. The sun can seriously damage your eyes so don't look at it unless you have some. Finding a pair last minute is going to be tough so instead devise a safe and easy pinhole viewer. This can be as simple as punching a hole into a sheet of paper and holding it up and away from a second piece of paper as you stand with your back to the sun. When the available sunlight goes through the hole you will see the shadow of the moon creating an eclipse right in front of you. NASA has instructions for a similar setup here.
Other things you can use include a colander, leaves, a pegboard. Anything with a small hole can be held over a sheet of paper to capture the view.
View From Chicago
Again, Chicago is over 250 miles from the path of totality so you will not be able to see a total solar eclipse. It's still going to be a dramatic view and worth checking out. I used the Eclipse 2017 app to see what the view will be like from downtown, but you can type in your exact location to see how much of the eclipse will be visible from where you are. The app is free.
Great Places to View the Eclipse
Anywhere outside with an unobstructed view overhead. The eclipse begins right about noon and ends at quarter to three so the sun will be high in the sky throughout. Just go outside wherever you are at today.
Watch It Online or TV
NASA has a lot of really great programming planned for the event, covering the view and talking about all the science they will be conducting during the eclipse. If you can't go outside, have small children, or it's too cloudy, watch it online. NASA's four hour coverage begins at 11 Chicago time, go here for that. ABC also plans to cover the eclipse, just like they did for the last total solar eclipse in America. Their coverage is as follows: The Great American Eclipse’ airs Monday, August 21 (1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET) on the ABC Television Network, ABCNews.com, Facebook Live, YouTube and across ABC News social media channels.
As of right now the weather is not looking good for Chicagoans wanting to view the eclipse. Last night's cloud coverage updates showed almost total coverage in and around the city. There is nothing you can do to get out from under that at this point, except to watch it on TV.