The Ring of Fire Eclipse is coming this Sunday and even the name makes it sound adventerous, exciting, and a little dangerous. It’s the first annular eclipse since 1994 and the Bay Area is in a prime spot to witness the sun and moon align.
Prime viewing time is Sunday evening between 5:16 to 7:40 p.m., with peak time at 6:33 p.m. However, looking directly at an eclipse means serious eye damage (and maybe a headache), so take some steps before Sunday to make sure you and your kids have the right gear to watch the eclipse or plan on heading out to a viewing location where equipment will be on hand. The National Parks Service recommends welder’s glasses with a rating of 13 or above or eclipse viewing (solar filter) glasses, which look at a lot like cheap 3D paper glasses. To get the kids involved before the eclipse, make pinhole projectors, which allow for a safe viewing.
Locally, Foothill College Observatory is hosting a viewing party from 5 p.m. to sunset, allowing the public to look at the eclipse through telescopes. The Lick Observatory at Mt. Hamilton will be open to the public as well, letting people look through a solar telescope. Solar viewing glasses will be sold for a nominal fee at The Lick Observatory gift shop that night.