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Great American Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

  • PLEASE NOTE: A big thank-you to all our friends and patrons for your involvement in the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse. Please visit our blog for other fascinating upcoming astronomical events.

    The next solar eclipse visible from Utah will be the annular eclipse of October 14th, 2023. An annular eclipse is similar to a total eclipse, except that the moon appears smaller than the sun and therefore doesn't completely block it out, resulting in a the ring of the sun around the dark disk of the moon. The next total solar eclipse that will pass through the United States will be on April 8, 2024.

    We hope you had a happy eclipse!

    On August 21st, 2017, the United States experienced a total eclipse of the Sun that stretched from Oregon to South Carolina. Multiple states, many within a day’s driving distance of Salt Lake City, Utah, experienced totality, where the Sun was completely blocked out by Earth’s Moon. While Salt Lake City did not experience totality, the city saw 91% coverage, which was a marvelous spectacle. 

    The following two short videos were prepared  to help people prepare for the August 21st total eclipse. Clark Planetarium gratefully acknowledges the generous contribution of time, equipment and talent by KUTV Channel 2 in making these videos.



    Also,  National Geographic produced a terrific video where you can learn all about eclipses and how to view them. You can view it here:

    Title slate for National Geographic's Eclipse 101 video_

    The nearest totality to Salt Lake City, Utah occurred in Driggs, Idaho, approximately 4 hours north of Salt Lake City. 

    Date: Monday, August 21st, 2017 

    Eclipse start time: 10:13 AM

    Maximum coverage in SLC: 11:33 AM
    Eclipse end time: 12:59 PM

  • Safe Viewing of an Eclipse

    There are two safe ways to look at the Sun, whether partially eclipsed or not. You should never look directly at the Sun without the assistance of either:

    • Special solar filters, including solar glasses, which must be marked ISO 12312-2
    • A large piece of welder’s glass, number 14. 

    You can also safely view the eclipse indirectly with the use of an eclipse projection box.

    Safety Don'ts for the Eclipse

    However you decide to view the eclipse, please:

    • DO NOT look directly at the Sun
    • DO NOT look at the Sun through an unfiltered camera or telescope
    • DO NOT use sunglasses as a substitute for solar glasses or filters
    • DO NOT use untested or “new” methods for projection viewers; this includes the newly popular “Pringles Can”

    Download a printable version of this information. 

  • Build an Eclipse Viewer

    Use one of these templates to build an eclipse viewer for your next solar eclipse adventure. 

    Cereal Box Eclipse Viewer

    Pinhole Projection Eclipse Viewing Box