The Great American Solar Eclipse: Where to Watch It in the Bay Area

Image courtesy of the California Academy of Sciences


Monday, August 21, 2017, is the date of the Great American Solar Eclipse!  For those along the eclipse path of totality, which stretches from Oregon across the country to South Carolina, the moon will cover the sun, and day will briefly turn into night. This is the first time since 1979 that a total eclipse will be visible from the continental United States— the next time won’t be until 2024.

The Bay Area will enjoy a partial eclipse, with more than 75% of the sun covered by the moon. The eclipse begins at 9 am and will peak around 10:15 am. Here are some great places in the Bay Area to see this rare event safely:

San Francisco

Exploratorium:  The Exploratorium’s live-stream team will travel to two sites—Madras, Oregon, and Caspar, Wyoming—to capture the “Great American Eclipse”.  Telescopes and solar safety glasses will be available on the Exploratorium’s plaza for viewing, and staff will be available to answer questions.

California Academy of Sciences: Weather-permitting, from 9:30 am to 11:37 am, Academy staff and volunteers will be available to guide museum visitors in safe viewing of the partial eclipse and to answer questions.  If the sky is cloudy (it IS San Francisco, after all), they’ll be showing live-streams of the eclipse from the path of totality in the Naturalist Center and Science Today.

Eclipse glasses designed to permit safe viewing of the sun are on sale at the Academy Store while supplies last.

East Bay

Chabot Space & Science Center: The Center will be open from 8:00 am-1:00 pm for viewing outside, or watch a live feed of the total eclipse in our theaters. Eclipse viewing glasses are available for purchase. This event is free to the public.

Big Break  (East Bay Regional Parks): The solar eclipse is coming! Set time aside to learn about and experience this rare, brief and beautiful astronomical event. Viewing equipment provided. No registration required. Register Now/Drop In Info


FabX: Solar Eclipse Viewing (Bay Area Discovery Museum): 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., all ages
Using various materials, children can make their own pinhole viewers to safely observe the eclipse. They can also make their own planet from translucent, colored plastic and simulate an eclipse around a light source with it.


PLEASE READ THESE SAFETY TIPS (via SFGATE) before viewing the eclipse.

Track wildlife response to the eclipse: Participate in Cal Academy’s Life Responds citizen science project with iNaturalist.

How do animals respond to an eclipse? (Mother Nature News)