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On August 21, the United States will experience its first total solar eclipse since 1991 and the first to move across the entire mainland of the country since 1918.

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes in between the Earth and the Sun. While this rare occurrence may be exciting, safety is a concern. Looking directly at the Sun during a solar eclipse could severely hurt your eyes.

Phases of a solar eclipse

King County will experience a partial solar eclipse. About 90% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon at the height of the eclipse for viewers in our region. The eclipse will start at about 9:10 a.m. Pacific time on August 21, peak around 10:20 a.m., and end at about 11:40 a.m. You can find exact times for your location with the NASA Interactive Eclipse Map.

Protect your eyes and view the eclipse safely with these tips from the National Weather Service:

  • Make sure to wear special solar-filtered sunglasses from a reputable seller if you plan to look directly at the eclipse.

  • It is only safe to look at the Sun during the eclipse when the Moon is totally covering the Sun. This only happens for a brief period and will only occur in a very narrow path about 70 miles wide from Oregon to South Carolina. The Moon will not totally cover the Sun for viewers in King County.

  • You can also safely view the eclipse through a solar-filtered telescope or welder's glass #14 and darker.

  • Only about 90% of the Sun will be covered if you are viewing the eclipse from King County. You must use special solar-filtered sunglasses, dark welder's glass, or a projection device to safely see the eclipse in our region.

For more information on the solar eclipse or for a solar eclipse party kit, visit

Eclipse path across U.S.Path of the solar eclipse across the United States

Eclipse path in Pacific NorthwestDetail of solar eclipse path across Pacific Northwest region

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