Countdown to Partial Totality: Eclipse 2017


  • National Weather Service

The countdown is on for Monday’s eclipse.

While the moon will begin moving in front of the sun at 9:01 a.m. here on the North Coast, the event’s peak hits at 10:14 a.m. with 87 percent coverage, which will leave just a glowing crescent visible before the moon begins its slow retreat. Read previous Journal coverage about the solar eclipse — the first in 99 years to cross the United States coast to coast — here.

So, the main question for coastal residents is whether the customary morning gray will go away in time to enjoy the view. According to the National Weather Service’s Eureka office, all signs point to no and your best bet is to go inland.

A marine layer is expected to linger over the Humboldt Bay region on Monday morning. Some areas may also be impacted by the same wildfire smoke that have given the sky its eerie hue in recent days.

Safety reminder: Only look at the sun with the proper gear. And, yes, there’s a way to do that here if you haven’t been able to snag yourself a pair of those special eclipse glasses that have been flying off the shelves.

Humboldt State’s Department of Physics & Astronomy will have glasses, telescopes with solar filters and pinhole cameras at a viewing event taking place at the campus Events Field. Interested? Find out more below.

Press release from Humboldt State University:
Humboldt State University's Department of Physics & Astronomy hosts a special eclipse viewing on Monday, Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is free and open to the public and takes place on the HSU Events Field, located at 17th and B streets in Arcata.

The department is making it easy to view the eclipse with telescopes with solar filters, free safe eclipse glasses, and pinhole cameras. The event takes place rain or shine.

While Humboldt County won't get to witness a total eclipse, the astronomers say the coverage should nearly complete. "If you are in Portland, you'll 100 percent of the sun covered," says Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo, HSU Professor of Astronomy. "Here in Arcata we've got it pretty good, we should see 87 percent coverage."

Safe viewing is an essential part of enjoying any eclipse. HSU Student Health & Wellness Center Director Brian Mistler urges anyone viewing the eclipse to take the proper safety precautions. "The eclipse presents a wonderful opportunity for our community, and it is important to do proper research to protect your health. Never look at the sun, eclipsed or not, through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device or using homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, as doing so could damage your vision," says Mistler.

"The only safe way is through special-purpose solar filters, such as 'eclipse glasses' or hand-held solar viewers that meet ISO 12312-2 international standards. You should seek expert advice from a qualified astronomer before using any optical device for this purpose. NASA's Eclipse 101 page at is a great place to continue learning about how to safely enjoy this rare astronomical event."

More information about the solar eclipse viewing event is at

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