Solar eclipse visible across Bay Area on Sunday evening 

click to enlarge GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images file photo

Sunday evening’s solar eclipse will have up to 84 percent of the sun blocked over San Francisco, with only a crescent of light peering around the shadow of the moon during the event’s apex at 6:33 p.m.

Because of the evening eclipse time, many people might not even notice a difference unless they look up. No place on Earth will witness a total eclipse, although the West Coast will see the majority of the sun covered — a rarely visible event happening over many parts of western and central North America.

People wanting to witness the annular eclipse should find an open northwest horizon unblocked by trees or buildings. And of course, no one should stare directly at the eclipse without a solar-filtered device or by punching a pinhole in a piece of paper and projecting the light on to another sheet while facing away from the sun.

Today marks the first solar eclipse visible in North America for “quite some time” according to Ryan Wyatt, director of the Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences. Wyatt said the academy in Golden Gate Park will set up a viewing area with telescopes and solar glasses, along with assisting the National Parks Service with another viewing area at Land’s End.

The shadow begins creeping across the surface of the sun at 5:16 p.m. and recedes at 7:40 p.m. The next partial eclipse won’t be visible here until 2014, and then next annular eclipse won’t be seen until 2017. Wyatt said the solar eclipse will be followed by an early morning lunar eclipse on June 4 and an ultra-rare event the next day in which Venus casts its shadow as a small disc on the surface of the sun. Wyatt said the Venus event won’t be seen again for 115 years and viewing it will require projecting an image of the sun with a telescope.

Places to see the eclipse

San Francisco

  • The California Academy of Sciences — 55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park
  • Sunset Reservoir Park — 28th Avenue and Ortega Street

Half Moon Bay

  • Cameron’s Campground — 1410 Cabrillo Highway, 1.3 miles south of Hwy. 92

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Dan Schreiber

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