SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A partial solar eclipse will be visible from the Bay Area Thursday afternoon, but looking into the sun without a special solar filter can cause severe burns and even blindness, so it’s important to talk with children in advance about what’s going to happen, and how to watch it safely.

The eclipse will begin to become visible shortly before 12:40 p.m. pacific time, reaching its maximum around 2:45 p.m., and ending just before 5  p.m., according to NASA.

Some sites conflict on exactly when the peak of the eclipse will be, but sometime between 2pm and 4pm is the range.

NASA: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/JSEX/JSEX-NA.html
TIME AND DATE.COM: http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/san-francisco

To watch safely, you can hold up an index card with a pinhole, and look at the shadow on the ground. (Do NOT look through the pinhole. Look at the light from the shadow of the index card, and the light from the hole on the ground).  It will show a darker circle partially obscuring the light of the sun. The same phenomenon can be observed by using your fingers to create pinholes, and project the light through tiny holes onto the ground, or even by looking at the shadows created by the grooves in tree leaves on the ground. (See photo). You’ll see multiple arcs projected.May 20th, 2012 Solar Eclipse seen in the shadows projected by the holes between tree leaves, seen in the shadow on a wall in Sacramento, California.

May 20th, 2012 Solar Eclipse seen in the shadows projected by the holes between tree leaves, seen in the shadow on a wall in Sacramento, California.

The phenomenon occurs when the moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, partially blocking the sun.

An animated graphic from NASA shows the path the eclipse will be visible from as it crosses over Earth. (Times are in Universal Time)

This animated NASA graphic shows the path the eclipse will be visible as it passes over the Bay Area.  (Source: NASA)

This animated NASA graphic shows the path the eclipse will be visible as it passes over the Bay Area. (Source: NASA)

The Bay Area witnessed a “Blood Moon” in the skies on October 7th.

[display-posts category=”trending” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”6″]

Comments (6)