The Great American Eclipse is headed our way Monday, and though we're not getting the full experience like those lucky folk from Oregon to South Carolina, here in La Belle NYC the moon will cover 71 percent of the sun at the eclipse's peak. And that's not nothing! So what should New Yorkers expect on Monday? What time will the Demons of Darkness come down to eat men? How do we keep our eyes safe? And where can one get drunk in the middle of the day while watching the eclipse and screaming the lyrics to "Total Eclipse of the Heart"?
What time does the eclipse start?
The partial eclipse will begin at 1:23 p.m. on Monday, then hit its peak in New York starting at 2:44 p.m., and by 4 p.m. the eclipse will be gone.
What will I see?
The bad news is—not much. Dr. Edwin Turner, a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton, told DCist that people in partial eclipse zones who aren't paying attention might not even notice anything's happening. "If you’re not in totality, and it's a nice day, it’s certainly worth getting some glasses and getting a peek," Turner said. "But don’t mistake it for the actual thing."
This is the real thing:
Okay, but I still want to see the partial eclipse. How do I look at it safely?
First and foremost—you MUST have eye protection. It is not safe to look directly at an eclipse, so some companies have been selling special glasses that will protect your eyes during the event. Purchase these with caution. NASA recently put out an alert about fake solar glasses that are being marketed as eclipse-safe, but are not:
— NASA Armstrong (@NASAArmstrong) July 18, 2017
Jason Kottke has a good guide to solar eclipse glasses over on his website, and the American Astronomical Society has some very detailed safety information for those of you purchasing glasses, as well.
You might be able to pick up free solar eclipse glasses at Warby Parker, which has been handing them out at all of their locations in the city. Note that if you haven't gotten them by now, you'll have to SPRINT to a store, like, immediately—according to a recording on the Bergen Street location's answering machine, though they can't share store-specific supply information on the phone, all retail shops are almost out of the glasses. You can, however, make your own pinhole projector by using a template on their website—these projectors allow you to view the eclipse safely if you point the projector at the ground and look at the shadow.
You can also score solar eclipse glasses at Solar Eclipse parties at New York Public Libraries (check online to see which branches still have room). Some Brooklyn Public Library branches will also be hosting eclipse parties, and though they seem to be out of solar eclipse glasses they will be teaching attendees to make pinhole viewers, too. NASA has some other tips for DIY eclipse viewing:
If you happen to be somewhere in the country where you can see the total eclipse, there's good news. Jackie Faherty, Senior Scientist in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, told Gothamist: "During totality you can actually take your glasses off and look at the Sun. The viewing glasses and pinhole cameras are all for the partial phases."
Can I take a picture of the eclipse?
Well, yes, and if you'd like to, our friends over at Chicagoist have compiled a handy guide. But astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson suggests you don't. "Experience this one emotionally, psychologically, physically," he told the audience at an event at the AMNH on Monday. "I get it — you want to look at it later. But then you would not have experienced it in the moment," he said.
Tyson also suggested people who don't have solar eclipse glasses hold a spaghetti strainer to the ground, like a pinhole camera, and look at the shadows to see the moon cover the sun.
I want to get drunk while the sun gets covered. Where can I go?
There are a whole bunch of viewing parties in town on Monday. Here's a list.
OH NO, I missed it!!!! What do I do?
Solar eclipses are pretty rare—the last coast-to-coast solar eclipse in the United States was in 1918, and another in 1979. In this century, there will be another solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, and then another one on August 12, 2045, if we make it that far.
Cool! So what was that thing you were saying about he Demons of Darkness eating people?
Don't worry, that's just a myth! Maybe.