Viewing Options for the Total Solar Eclipse

If you happen to be in the right part of the world on April 8, you’ll be able to see a total solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is perfectly aligned with and blocks the Sun.

Those living on the thin path that stretches across the United States will see the Sun fully blocked and surrounded by the thin, wispy tendrils of the solar corona. Unfortunately, the Tri-Cities is not close to this path, which means we’ll only see part of the Sun blocked by the Moon.

At mid-eclipse, you’ll see 87% of the surface of the Sun blocked by the Moon. If you want to see the eclipse safely, you have a couple of options.

  • Use your own solar glasses to dim the light of the Sun to safe viewing levels. You can purchase your own pair of solar glasses from the Bays Mountain Park gift shop for $2 each.
  • You can project the image of the sun using a colander from your kitchen. It will project dozens of little Sun images from the holes.

Eclipse Times for the Tri-Cities

  • First Contact (when the edge of the Moon just touches the edge of the Sun) – 1:53 p.m.
  • Mid Eclipse (when the most amount of the Sun will be blocked by the Moon) – 3:10 p.m.
  • Last Contact (when the edge of the Moon just leaves the edge of the Sun) – 4:26 p.m.

The Kingsport Public Library will have solar telescopes set up in Glen Bruce Park from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 8 to view a magnified view of the Sun. The library is hosting an afterschool kids program on eclipse science on April 5 at 4 p.m. and the library will be giving out solar glasses during library programs leading up to April 8.

Please Note: NEVER look directly at the Sun without proper protection.

“Eclipses are special events and the perfect fun for the entire family,” said Planetarium Director Adam Thanz. “Whether you can visit a place to view, use your own solar glasses or project with a colander, be safe and understand you are in direct alignment with the Sun, Moon and Earth.”