Partial Solar Eclipse in NYC – August 21, 2017

Join the AAA at Pioneer Works

On the day of the eclipse, join AAA Board Members Rori Baldari, Otto Chin and Faissal Halim who will be at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn. They are handing out solar glasses for the event, and you’ll be able to see the Sun through dedicated solar telescopes. It’ll be an amazing time!

AAA Media Contacts

The following people are available for media contacts:

What’s Happening on August 21st?

On Monday, August 21, the Moon will be between the Sun and the Earth and the Earth will move into the Moon’s shadow for the briefest of moments, as the shadow speeds across the United States.  This month’s solar eclipse is unusual in that there will be a total eclipse visible from a tiny band running across the continental USA, and because a partial eclipse, from beginning to end, will be visible from the entire United States.

New York City will see about 70% eclipse, so the event will be significant even outside the Path of Totality.

  • Start: 1:23pm
  • Max: 2:44pm
  • End: 4:00pm

A Call for Member Observers

If you’re a member of the AAA and are planning to be in town and not traveling for the eclipse, then please consider hosting an observing site for part or all of the eclipse. The Club will help you. Since it’s during the day, most people will be at work, so you might even bring a solar scope or a pinhole-viewer to your work place to where people can easily just come outside. You can show people on the sidewalk a safe view from wherever you happen to be. If you’re here and up for it, please let us know where, and when you’ll plan to be (likely a hot day, might not want to stay outside for the whole 2.5 hours), and what equipment you’ll have. We’ll post it below, and make sure that the word gets out.

Contact Jason Kendall to submit your ideas or plans, or to ask how you can do something.

Other Member Events

Below is a listing of current events that the AAA is doing in advance and on the day of the eclipse. Please come join us!

Why is there just a partial eclipse for New York city?

The shadow cast by the Moon on the Earth is only just big enough for the “point” of it to reach Earth. Imagine trying to cover a distant streetlight with your thumb. Your thumb appears bigger because it is nearer. So, if your thumb doesn’t cover the entire streetlight, we could call that a partial thumb-streetlight eclipse. Now, you still see the streetlight, but not all of it. In NYC, it’ll be like that. If you put your thumb too far away, it wouldn’t cover the whole streetlight at all, ever. So, by analogy, the Moon is close enough to just cover the Sun in the sky. Technically, that means the angular diameter of the Sun and Moon are equal. But, colloquially, it means that the Moon and Sun look like they are the same size in the sky. In reality, they have very different sizes, but they appear to be the same, and that’s all due to the fact that the Moon is nearer than the Sun. We only get a partial eclipse in NYC because the shadow of Totality is very narrow, so to us, the Moon only looks like it’s covering part of the Sun.

Watch Out for fake Solar Glasses!!!

Only buy from reputable dealers. There are EXACTLY ZERO street vendors that will have safe solar filters. Only museums, planetariums, and amateur astronomy groups or university astronomy groups will have proper solar filters. If you want to get them, make sure you get them from someone on this page:

How can I watch the eclipse in the sky?

Look towards the Sun with ONLY proper equipment. Do not look directly at the Sun. NEVER use binoculars, telescope or any unprotected equipment to look at the Sun. If you point your camera at the Sun without a filter, you will likely ruin your camera. You can permanently lose your sight in a moment if you look at the Sun without proper filters using anything that magnifies the Sun. Sunglasses you buy at the store are NOT proper filters. Do you remember all those cartoons about kids who use a magnifying glass to burn ants on a sunny day? That will happen to your eyeball. So, DON’T DO IT! Even through clouds!

So how do I see it?

For those without any equipment, the best option is to set up a pinhole camera like what’s shown on this page:

They will make amazing images like what’s shown below:

leaves as pinhole cameras

Resource Links about the Eclipse


Links and Resources