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Everything You Need to Know About the August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Want to know the time, path and location of the August 2017 Solar Eclipse? Check out these great science apps!

Apps in this Guide

On August 21, 2017, sky watchers within a narrow band of the contiguous U.S. -- from Oregon to South Carolina -- will be treated to a totalmore

On August 21, 2017, sky watchers within a narrow band of the contiguous U.S. -- from Oregon to South Carolina -- will be treated to a total solar eclipse. In what's being called the "Great American Eclipse," the moon will fully obscure the sun from view. Those outside this zone, known as the "path of totality," can still view a partial solar eclipse from anywhere in the U.S. But you can always gain a richer perspective -- no matter where you are -- with apps that promise to educate you about the eclipse, guide you toward the best viewing spots, teach you how to best photograph the event, and connect you to live-streamed telescope views and important safety information.

Is it safe to stare directly at the sun during the total solar eclipse?

No. Staring at the sun can seriously damage your eyes -- sometimes permanently. It is recommended that you only watch the total solar eclipse using special solar-eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers. However, you can put these down at the moment that the moon is completely blocking the sun -- if you are in the path of totality, that is. If you can't get your hands on any of these, you can build your own box pinhole projector to safely watch the celestial spectacle.

What's the difference between a total and partial solar eclipse?

In a total solar eclipse, the moon completely covers the sun. A partial solar eclipse happens when the moon only partially obscures the sun.

What is "Total Eclipse of the Heart?"

Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler's 1983 No. 1 pop single, which was reimagined by Nicki French in 1995 as a dance track. Thanks to the total solar eclipse, a new generation of Googlers are discovering this track in search results online. The original video's YouTube views have recently increased to almost 300 million.

Recommended Total Solar Eclipse Apps

Totality by Big Kid Science

Totality by Big Kid Science

This app, designed for kids big and small, shows you what you can expect to see where you are, discover the nearest location within the path of totality, get navigation tools to get you there, learn more about eclipses, and shop for solar glasses.

Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse

The San Francisco Exploratorium's Total Solar Eclipse app lets you see five simultaneous video streams of the eclipse: one hosted by Exploratorium educators and NASA scientists in English, one hosted in Spanish, one non-narrated, a 3-hour live telescope view from Oregon, a similar one from Wyoming, and a live telescope view, backed by the legendary Kronos Quartet. You'll also be able to trace the path of totality with an interactive map and calculate what you'll be able to observe from your location.

Solar Eclipse Timer

Solar Eclipse Timer

If you're in the path of totality, Solar Eclipse Timer counts down to contact times; tells you what to look for during partial phases, when to take your solar glasses off, and how and when to take excellent eclipse photos; and provides plenty of useful educational material.

Eclipse Megamovie Mobile

Eclipse Megamovie Mobile

Designed in collaboration with the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley, Eclipse Megamovie Mobile provides a map of the path of totality and displays quick directions to the best, closest viewing spot; a countdown timer; and the ability to enable the app to capture excellent photos automatically. Your images may even be included in a massive dataset of eclipse observations, collected for The Megamovie Project -- with your permission, of course.

Solar Eclipse App by

Solar Eclipse App by


Get general information, a visibility map, a countdown timer, and if you just can't wait, simulations of what the eclipse will look like.