Total Solar Eclipse: Monday August 21 – about, streaming, safety and photography

On August 21, 2017, beginning at 10:15 a.m. PDT, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the United States. The glorious sight of the fully eclipsed Sun will be visible along a 70-mile-wide path arching from Oregon to South Carolina. Millions of people are expected to travel to this “path of totality” to watch as the moon entirely covers the face of the Sun. Don’t miss this one because the NEXT TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE in North America isn’t until 2024!

Watch all of the Solar Eclipse live, right here!

To deliver to you all expert total solar eclipse information CreativeLive has partnered with the San Francisco Exploratorium! The Exploratorium is a public learning laboratory exploring the world through science, art, and human perception. The Exploratorium creates tools and experiences that help you to become an active explorer: hundreds of explore-for-yourself exhibits, a website with over 35,000 pages of content, film screenings, evening art and science events for adults, plus much more. If you’re in San Francisco, the Exploratorium is an awesome place to check out!

People not in the path will experience a partial eclipse. For those who can’t make it to the path, the CreativeLive, along with our Exploratorium partners, will share it with the world by live stream. You can watch it live on this and on the Exploratorium‘s free Android and iOS app . Or if you’re nearby San Francisco come to the Exploratorium for a special eclipse-day program!

To view the 2017 total solar eclipse, you’ll have to be somewhere within the light brown stripe stretching across the United States on this map. This “path of totality,” where the darkest part of the moon’s shadow hits the Earth, is only 70 miles wide. North American viewers outside that band will see a partial eclipse. The eclipse will hit land on the coast of Oregon at 10:15 a.m. PDT. It will sweep across the country, touching Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina before ending its land passage and heading out to sea just after 4:00 p.m. EDT.

Watch all of the Solar Eclipse live, right here!

It takes about 90 minutes for the Moon’s dark shadow to cross the country, starting around 10:15 am Pacific time – 2:45 pm Eastern time (11:45 am Pacific time) on the East Coast. In order to have a total eclipse of the Sun on August 21, 2017, you must position yourself within the roughly 70-mile-wide track labeled “Path of the total solar eclipse” has a lot of great information

Permanent Damage To Your Eyes

  • High-intensity UV light will cook your eyes
  • You cannot feel it because we don’t have pain sensors in our eyes.
  • Depending on sky conditions it only takes 1.5 minutes for your eyes to be permanently damaged, the damage is cumulative. Even quick glances can be damaging to your eye.
  • [Washington Post] According to an expert answer on the University of California at Santa Barbara ScienceLine, ” … doctors collect information after events like the 1999 solar eclipse when people who stared directly at the sun for several minutes went to see their doctor. In one study, about half had permanent damage.”
  • Sunglasses aren’t sufficient. You need special glasses. During a partial eclipse the light doesn’t seem as intense so it might seem like it’s okay to take them off, but that’s when you can damage your eyes.
  • Don’t need the Solar Eclipse sunglasses during totality phase. But you will need the entire time if you’re not in the path of totality. Many places are selling out. You might still be able to get some at local retailers such as Lowes, or your local library. Call in advance do you don’t waste a trip. Beware fakes on! NASA has compiled a list of reputable sources:
  • You can test your glasses if you’re not sure… If you can see shaded lamps or other common household light fixtures (not bare bulbs) of more ordinary brightness through your eclipse glasses or a handheld viewer, and you’re not sure the product came from a reputable vendor, it’s no good. Safe solar filters produce a view of the Sun that is comfortably bright (like the full Moon), in focus, and surrounded by dark sky. If you glance at the Sun through your solar filter and find it uncomfortably bright, out of focus, and/or surrounded by a bright haze, it’s no good.

Watch all of the Solar Eclipse live, right here!

Permanent Damage to Camera Sensors

Shooting the Eclipse (via Nikon USA)

Learn how to shoot a the solar eclipse right here.

  • MUST USE solar filter. Can get at your local camera store (call first) or your usual retailers (BHPhoto, Adorma). Even need one for your iPhone.
  • The longer the focal length of the lens, the larger the images of the sun you’ll be able to make.
  • Full frame sensor 2000mm or less. For cropped sensor 1300mm or less.Or if you want to capture the suns corona during the phase of totality, chose 1400mm or less or 900mm respectively
  • Use a tripod + manual focus on infinity
  • Here’s a great Solar Eclipse exposure guide from
  • You can calibrate on the uneclipsed sun (with a solar filter) to determine preferred settings. Shoot mid-day sun at a fixed aperture between f/8 and f/16. Take test shots at every shutter speed from 1/4000 second to 1/30 second. Choose the best speed/aperture combo and use to photograph during partial phases. Check histogram. Should not be clipped.
  • To capture during totality phase, remove solar filter required. Sun’s pearl white corona, red prominences, and chromosphere are visible.
    • The average brightness of the corona varies inversely with the distance from the sun’s limb. The inner corona is far brighter than the outer corona thus, no single exposure can capture its full dynamic range. Choose one aperture and bracket by 1-2 stops over a range of super speeds from 1/1000 second to 1 second. Use RAW if possible. Practice before hand. You only get one-shot!
    • Need more detail on Aperture? Read our complete resource guide here.


Ted Livingston