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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 eclipse2017.nasa.gov.

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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