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I'm preparing for the solar eclipse coming in August of this year, and want to make a decision on whether it will be worth my while to travel north from San Francisco.

As observed from San Francisco, when compared to the May 2012 eclipse, will there be more of the sun obscured by the moon in 2017, or less?

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  • $\begingroup$ If you aren't along the path of totality (which you won't be in San Francisco), but that path is close by (which it will be), it's worth going. I've seen a few partial eclipses, but then I saw the 2012 eclipse from Tokyo (which was annular). Even a bit less than totality is a poor second best. $\endgroup$ Mar 23 '17 at 3:15
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This is going to be the eclipse of the century for the USA. To make the most of it, you need to be on the path of totality (see map) to see a total eclipse. If you stay in San Francisco, you will only see a partial eclipse. You need to make arrangements now if you need somewhere to stay.

The gray band indicates the path of totality. Inside it, you will see a total eclipse, and will be able to see the Sun's corona in all its glory. If you are outside the path of totality, you will only see a partial eclipse (and no corona). The closer you are to the blue centerline, the longer totality will last. The black dot near Nashville indicates the location where totality will last the longest (2 minutes and 40 seconds).

During totality (but only totality), it is safe to observe the Sun's corona with the naked eye. At all other times, you will need to use a protective (solar) filter if you want to look at the Sun directly, or project an image of the Sun onto a screen.

enter image description here

www.eclipse2017.org

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Less of the sun will be obscured, the eclipse will be less total, from San Fransisco in 2017 than in 2012.

Simulations can be found at https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/san-francisco

If you want to see the totality, you will need to head North or East.

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