What The Solar Eclipse Will Look Like In NYC

by Kaitlyn Wylde
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On Monday, Aug. 21, at around 1 p.m., the moon will start to cross between the earth and the sun, and we will experience a partial solar eclipse — which, for the first time in 99 years, will actually be visible from the U.S. But, what about the big cities — like, will we be able to see the solar eclipse from NYC?

While New York is not in the path of totality, meaning it will not experience a full blackout eclipse, the city is in for a special sky show. So if you can't get down to South Carolina, don't fret; once you realize what the solar eclipse will look like in New York, you'll understand how much celestial entertainment is in store for you.

Starting at 1 p.m., the sun will start to be eclipsed by the moon, making it look like a crescent, or giving it a "bitten" look. By 2:44 p.m., the sun will have a 71 percent eclipse, meaning only about a quarter of the sun will be visible. While a partial eclipse is not nearly as startling and strange looking as a total eclipse, it will still definitely be a sight to see. I mean, how often does the sky go 71 percent dark and inspire everyone to stop what they're doing and head outside to watch together? The mere communal act of checking out the eclipse is something special in and of itself.

The partial eclipse will start to brighten up after about two minutes, and the moon will be totally clear from the sun by about 4 p.m., so if you were thinking about going to an eclipse party and playing hooky, go for it. The event will definitely last long enough for you to make a whole afternoon out of it.

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But the most important thing for you to remember is, that no matter where you're watching from, you need to protect your eyes. On an average day, your eyes go into a protective mode when you look up at the sun. They have a built-in safety feature that keeps light from hitting the most vulnerable part of your eye. But when the moon starts to pass over the sun's rays, and your eyes start to focus on the dark parts, the protective features cannot function. Basically the eclipse will seriously confuse your eyes, and you'll end up letting light into part of your eye that can cause temporary or even permanent blindness. It's no joke. And even if you look up at the sun during the eclipse and don't notice any change to your eyesight, you still might wake up the next morning and have blurry vision, as the damage can take a while to register.

So if you live in NYC, make the most of the eclipse for sure. But make sure you take care of your eyes. NASA warns against protective eye wear that doesn't meet the ISO standards, which are 12312-2. Lunt is a great brand that NASA stands behind, and you can order their glasses or SUNoculars here.