When is the eclipse and what will I see?
The August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse is visible from the Jacksonville area between around 1:16 and 4:11 pm, depending on exactly where you are viewing from. The maximum obscuration of the Sun will occur around 2:47pm.
If it’s clear, you will notice daylight slowly dimming, like on a cloudy day. However, the Sun will still be too bright to look at directly without damaging your eyes. With a safe solar viewer, you will see the Sun slowly become a crescent and then return to a complete circle.
TimeAndDate.com has a list of future eclipses that will be visible from Jacksonville.
If it’s cloudy, you can still watch NASA’s livestream of the total solar eclipse. The total solar eclipse starts in Salem, OR, at 1:18pm Eastern time and ends in Charleston, SC, at 2:47pm Eastern. It won’t last longer than 2 minutes, 40 seconds for any one viewing location.
How can I view the eclipse?
It is never safe to look directly at the Sun! Even if only a small portion of the Sun is visible, it is bright enough to damage your eyes. However, there are many easy ways to view the partial solar eclipse in Jacksonville.
- Project the sun. It is very easy to make a solar viewer. All you need is some foil and a pin (see instructions). There is also the classic cereal box eclipse viewer, or you can make a larger version that fits over your head. If you don’t have boxes or foil handy, you can make a viewer just your own hands.
- Get a pair of eclipse glasses. These typically cost about a dollar each and can be purchased online. There have recently been many unsafe products claiming to be eclipse glasses appearing online. NASA recommends that you only purchase glasses from American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only), Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17. These should be marked “ISO 12312-2”. If you cannot find eclipse glasses, a safe alternative is “14 shade” welder’s glass.
- Go to an eclipse viewing event. We have a list of local eclipse-related events in Jacksonville. Many events, such as the one held at UNF, will have telescopes with safe filters to give you a magnified view of the sun.
NASA has more details about eclipse safety.
During a total solar eclipse the moon completely blocks the sun, allowing you to safely view the sun’s outermost atmosphere, or corona with your unprotected eyes. To view the total solar eclipse, you will need to travel to somewhere in the path. Take a look at this interactive map, and please consider this projected traffic map on the day of the eclipse when planning your trip.
“How to Observe and Enjoy the Great American Eclipse of 2017” is a free 24 page guide with everything you need to know about the 2017 Solar Eclipse, written by Dr. Mike Reynolds of Florida State College at Jacksonville.