Astronomy Essentials

Eclipse day checklist

As totality ends, the sun begins to emerge from behind the Moon producing the dazzling diamond ring effect. Copyright 2016 by Fred Espenak.

So the big day – August 21, 2017 – is nearly here. Are you all ready for the 2017 total eclipse of the sun? It’s important to be prepared to take in everything the eclipse has to offer. You’ll be outside for hours and there are a number of things you can do to make yourself comfortable.

Eclipse Day Checklist

Basic Checklist
– Solar filters for your eyes (partial phases only; filters are removed during totality; and bring extra filters to share)
– Straw hat, kitchen pasta colander, or cooking spoon with small holes to project pinhole images of partially eclipsed sun on a white piece of cardboard (see: Safe Solar Eclipse Viewing)
– Suitable clothing and large brimmed hat (you will be outside in the sun for several hours)
– Sunglasses (not for direct viewing of partial phases)
– Comfortable folding chairs or picnic blanket to sit on
– Sunscreen lotion
– Bug repellent
– Basic first aid kit
– Cooler filled with water and drinks
– Snacks, sandwiches, etc.
– Roll of toilet paper (for emergencies)
– A list of your intended activities during the eclipse
– Times of the eclipse contacts for your location (can be found using the EclipseWise 2017 Google Eclipse Map).
– Digital watch or cell phone with accurate time (set on the day of eclipse)
– A printed copy of Stages of a Total Solar Eclipse to help you keep track of everything to watch during the eclipse

Equipment Checklist for Viewing and/or Photographing Eclipse
– Binoculars and/or small telescope
– Solar filters for binoculars and/or telescope
– Camera equipment and tripod
– Video camera and tripod
– Audio recorder for your comments and impressions or to capture reactions of people or wildlife near you
– Audio recorder with prerecorded messages timed to cue you about what to see next*
– Extra batteries for all of the above
– Pencil and paper to record impressions or to sketch (also to take down the names and addresses of fellow observers)
* there are some smart phone apps that do this (e.g., Solar Eclipse Timer or EclipseDroid)

You may also be interested in reading:
Best Ways to View the Solar Eclipse
Safe Solar Eclipse Viewing
Stages of a Total Solar Eclipse
What’s It Like to See a Total Solar Eclipse?
Mr. Eclipse’s “How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse”
Eclipse Photographer’s Checklist

A series of nine images were combined into a time sequence of the total solar eclipse of 1999 August 11, from Lake Hazar, Turkey. The corona has been computer enhanced to show subtle details and prominences. Copyright 1999 by Fred Espenak.
August 9, 2017
Astronomy Essentials

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