5 Bay Area Ways to Celebrate the Rare Solar Eclipse

The Great American Solar Eclipse is on Monday, August 21st:

Begins:  Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 9:01 am
Maximum:  Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 10:15 am
Ends:  Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 11:37 am

Imagine a sunny day when all of a sudden darkness falls, stars appear and in minutes the sun comes out again. What just happened? Ancient cultures around the world have stories trying to explain the sun's disappearance. Today we know it as a total solar eclipse. On August 21st the United States will experience this rare astronomical event. The new moon will move between the Earth and the sun creating a narrow shadow that will travel from Oregon to South Carolina. While we are excited about this rare event animals however might act strangely. Sudden darkness can trick animals making them anxious and confused. But we know this is a unique chance to stand in the shadow of a rare celestial event. Miss this and you will have to wait until 2024 for the next one.

Only those in the the narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina will witness the total eclipse. Most of the United States will see a partial eclipse. The Bay Area will enjoy more than 75% of the Sun covered by the Moon. If you're not planning to head to the path of totality, here are five local ways to celebrate the Great American Solar Eclipse a la Bay Area style.


Many libraries will be distributing free eclipse glasses. Find a participating library near you. In Marin, head to the Marin City, San Rafael and San Anselmo libraries for your FREE eclipse glasses!

Thursday, August 3, 7-8pm, Larkspur Library Presents: Total Eclipse, NASA Solar System Ambassador Ron Rosano, will share views and simulations, answer questions and discuss how you may best capture it with your own equipment, free solar eclipse glasses.

Saturday, August 5, 2-4pm, Astronomer Andrew Fraknoi, 2-4pm, illustrated, nontechnical talk, astronomer Andrew Fraknoi, will describe how eclipses work, why they are one of natureโ€™s most spectacular sights, what scientists learn during eclipses, exactly when and where the eclipse of 2017 will be visible, and how to observe the eclipse and the Sun safely, Berkeley Library.

Sunday, August 6, 1-3pm, The Sky Event of the Decade, Join Andrew Fraknoi, chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College, on Aug. 6 as describes how eclipses work, why they are one of natureโ€™s most spectacular sights, what scientists learn during eclipses, exactly when and where the eclipse of 2017 will be visible, and how to observe the eclipse and the sun safely, San Francisco Main Library.

Sunday, August 13, 1-3pm, Outer Space Costume Eclipse Event and Movie Clips! Put on your costume for an Outer Space cosplay party with short films and entertaining movie clips. Berkeley Library.

Monday, August 21, 9-11:30am, 2017 SOLAR ECLIPSE, Join us for the Celestial Event of the Century! Come to the front lawn of the San Rafael Public Library.

Monday, August 21, 10-10:30am, Solar Eclipse Viewing, free souvenir glasses with which you can watch the partial eclipse of the sun, Belvedere Tiburon Library.

Monday, August 21, 10am-2pm, All-American Solar Eclipse Event, get your free solar shades and loads of information about this special solar eclipse event, San Anselmo Library.

Monday, August 21, 10-10:30am, Solar Eclipse Viewing, snacks, coffee, juice, water and viewing glasses, Novato Library.

Monday, August 21, 9-11:30am, Live Eclipse Group Viewing plus Free Safe Viewing Glasses Berkeley Library.


Sunday, August 13, 12pm, What Happens When the Sun Goes Dark? Special book-signing and talk with the award-winning science educator and astronomer Andrew Fraknoi, coauthor of When the Sun Goes Dark, Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley.

Sunday, August 20, 12-3pm, Eve of Totality Celebration, learn how eclipses are formed and everything you need to know to safely observe one, hands-on Planetarium show, take a look at the surface of the sun with a Sunspotter, and make art using the power of the sun, Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley.

Monday, August 21, 9-12pm, Total Solar Eclipse: Live from the U.S.A., Exploratorium, San Francisco.

Monday, August 21, 9-12pm, Partial Solar Eclipse, Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland.

Monday, August 21, 10am-12pm, FabX: Solar Eclipse Viewing, children make their own pinhole viewers, their own planet from translucent, colored plastic and simulate an eclipse around a light source with it, Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Monday, August 21, 10-11:30am, The Great American Solar Eclipse, Academy staff and volunteers will be available to guide museum visitors in safe viewing of the partial eclipse, using a variety of devices and techniques and to answer questions about this remarkable phenomenon, California Academy of Science.


Celebrate with your neighbors at one of these great gatherings.

Monday, August 21, 9:30-11am Join Marin Country Park Rangers for a Solar Eclipse hike. Meet at the gate at the end of Taylor Rd in Tiburon for a rare chance to view a solar eclipse from Ring Mountain. Learn how to make a solar eclipse viewer, and find out some of the fun facts about the solar eclipse. This event is ideal for all ages. 

Monday, August 21, San Francisco 76% Solar Eclipse Viewing Party, Cupid's Span, The Embarcadero, San Francisco.

More great events around California.


Thursday, August 3, 6โ€“10pm, Our Place in Space, Exploratorium, San Francisco.

Thursday, August 3, 8โ€“10:30pm, Astro Night, โ€œThe History and Science of Eclipses,โ€ Campbell Hall, UC Berkeley.


Just step outside the morning of August 21st and look up. Make sure you have protective eye ware.

Click here for more information about the Great American Eclipse.