Eclipse Viewing

Categories: Events

Partial Eclipse Viewing

A solar eclipse will be visible in the United States on April 8, 2024 (weather permitting).  All areas of the United States will be able to see at least a partial eclipse over the course of about two hours.  An approximately 100 mile wide area will experience a total eclipse which lasts between a few seconds to around 5 minutes.(see map below).


If you are viewing a partial eclipse, it will be visible for more than two hours.  So you can share solar viewers with other people during that time.

You can safely view a projected image of the eclipse buy poking a small hole in a piece of paper.  Put your back to the sun and hold up the paper so that the sunlight hits it.  Hold a second piece of paper below the other one and you will be able to watch the entire progress of the eclipse. Using this simple indirect projection.  For other methods to make projected images of the eclipse see the links below.

Local Community Viewing Event

If you will be in Manchester, New Hampshire, the SEE science Center will be hosting a community viewing event for the partial solar eclipse at Arms Park from 2pm – 4:30pm. Manchester, NH will not experience a total eclipse and eye protection is needed at all times when viewing a partial eclipse.  In Manchester the maximum eclipse coverage will be 95.3% at 3:29pm .  SEE will also have activities to explain eclipse science to attendees and music with WZID.  This event is supported by the City of Manchester Community Improvement Program.  This event is weather permitting.
You can watch an eclipse simulation for Manchester for April 8, 2024 here

Get a sneak preview of what SEE has planned for the event at Arms Park in this WMUR story with Jean Mackin

Learn about the April 8 eclipse by listening to this episode with SEE Deputy Director Peter & Design Coordinator Adele.

Be prepared Know what to expect – Practice

Make plans for where you will be on eclipse day.  Know how to protect your eyes and those in your group.

Watch a simulation for your location.  Understand what type of eclipse you will be able to see. If you will be in the path of totality, know at what time and for how long the total eclipse will occur and expect traffic and crowds and use caution.

Practice viewing the Sun safely any day and see how fast the Sun moves across the sky. Buy and practice using certified eclipse glasses, at intervals for at most 3 minutes of continuous viewing. Try making a projected image for indirect viewing.

What is a Solar Eclipse:

A solar eclipse occurs when the earth moon and sun are in alignment and the moon casts a shadow on the earth.  When the moon is farther from earth we get an annular eclipse, when the moon is closer to earth we have a total eclipse.  If you are not in the direct shadow of the eclipse you can see a partial eclipse.

Try this activity from the Lawrence Hall of Science at  home to help your family understand how a solar eclipse works.

a pair of eclipse glasses next to their protective folder.

Glasses Available for purchase

Available on-site in the SEE Science Center’s gift shop $2 per pair.  The glasses block 99.99% of the Sun’s light, and are thousands of times darker than any sunglasses. They can be used for up to 3 minutes of continuous direct solar viewing. They are ISO certified and made in the U.S.A..

Safety First

You cannot look directly at the Sun without damaging your eyesight – even 1% of the Sun’s light is dangerous. To safely view the Sun, you can use ISO certified solar filters, or view the sun indirectly by making a projected image.

Learn how to project

You can also safely view the Sun indirectly this is a cheap and easy way to view an eclipse.  Use the instructions and practice on any sunny day.

 Everyone in U.S.  will be able to see at least a partial eclipse, if weather permits.

April 8, 2024 Total Solar Eclipse
The moon will be close enough to the earth to completely block out the sun casting a total shadow across a path called the “path of totality”.  This area averages just over 100 miles wide.  In the path of totality, for a short period of time, it will be completely dark.  Find the details for the April 8, 2024 eclipse here.  The path of totality will cross the very northern most part of NH. Learn more about the eclipse in New Hampshire here.

In Manchester, NH we will have a partial eclipse that will cover 95.3% of the sun. Eye protection is always needed to view a partial eclipse.

NASA Map of the April 8 eclipse.

Annular ‘ring of fire’ Eclipse

As viewed through a solar filter.
Eye protection needed at all times.

Total Solar Eclipse

Visible for a short time in specific locations along the path of the moon’s shadow.

Partial Solar Eclipse

As viewed through a solar filter.
Eye protection is needed at all times.