Partial solar eclipse
A partial solar eclipse. Photo by Rhys Jones via Wikimedia Commons

San Diego will be a long way from the main track of the “Great American Eclipse” on Monday, Aug. 21, but you can still see the moon take a big bite out of the sun.

The Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park is sponsoring a free viewing party, and is scheduling other events for amateur astronomers interested in the rare occurrence.

The path of totality stretches from South Carolina to Oregon, but in San Diego a partial eclipse will be visible here with simple equipment from 9:07 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., with the maximum at 10:23 a.m.

The Fleet’s free event begins at 9 a.m. Resident astronomer Dr. Lisa Will plans to show participants how to make simple pinhole projectors to safely view the eclipse. Special safety glasses will be sold for $4.99.

Inside the museum, NASA images of the eclipse as it approaches totality will be projected on the screen of the Fleet’s dome theater. The images will be from 11 spacecraft and the International Space Station.

Leading up to the event, the Fleet has scheduled a series of events on eclipse photography and how to make a safe eclipse viewer.

If you’re lucky enough to be in one of the 14 states in the path of the total eclipse, you’ll experience more than two minutes of darkness in the middle of the day.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.