3. Know when to tune in. The total solar eclipse will begin at 8:46 a.m. PST (11:46 a.m. EDT) in Salem, Oregon, and end near Charleston, South Carolina, with a period of totality lasting up to 2 minutes and 41.6 seconds.
How To Safely Watch A Solar Eclipse
After you’ve made your travel plans for the Aug. 21 event, don’t let forgetfulness get the best of you on eclipse day.
Use this eclipse packing list to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:
- Your eclipse safety equipment: Remember, the only time you can look at the eclipse without one of these devices is during totality, when the sun is completely obscured by the moon. Pack at least one of the following per person:
- Certified eclipse glasses (and extras)
- Make sure your glasses do not have any creases or damage. If they do, replace immediately with a spare pair.
- Pinhole projector or pinhole camera with additional materials
- Safe solar filters
- Solar viewing cards
- Other eclipse devices approved by the American Astronomical Society
- Standard sunglasses will not protect your eyes from possible damage during the eclipse itself, but you may want to bring a pair for general protection during the rest of the day.
- Paper maps and driving directions
- It's likely that you'll either cross an area or be within an area without cell service. Go old school and print out your driving directions and a map of your eclipse-watch site to supplement your car or phone navigation system.
- Print out paper maps and driving directions for your contingency location in case your initial location doesn't pan out.
- Comfortable clothing and hats
- Folding chairs or a picnic blanket
- A full gas tank
- Bug repellent
- First aid kit
- Food and drinks
- Device that shows accurate time (phone or digital watch)
- GoPro (optional)
- Extra batteries for any additional equipment
- If you’re camping, also pack:
- If you’re photographing the eclipse, also pack:
- Power sources
- Solar filters
- Remote release