On August 21, 2017, millions of Americans will experience the first total solar eclipse in 98 years. Depending on where you are watching the eclipse from, the percent that the moon covers the sun will vary. Those that are viewing from Northern California and Nevada, including folks in the Tahoe Basin, will experience a partial eclipse at 9:04 AM with the maximum eclipse of 83% at 10:20 AM, and the end of a partial at 11:43 AM.
This celestial event is a solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location. For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979.
For years Northstar has offered star gazing via Tahoe Star Tours, led by Tony Berendsen. GoTahoeNorth recently caught up with Tony and asked how people can get the best experience possible, he suggested, “Solar viewers, pin hole viewers, projections under trees are the easiest way to view the eclipse, and if you are lucky to have a friend with a telescope equipped with solar filters you will have a closer view. We will be fairly deep in the penumbral shadow of the moon so there will be a slight dimming of the sun similar to what a small cloud might cause, but nothing else will be apparent to the naked eye.”
Although location does not truly matter where you view the eclipse, there are a few Tahoe spots that trump the others. Watching this historic moment in one of America’s most unique mountain communities makes it all the better. Take a mountain bike ride, go for a paddle on your SUP, relax on a beach, or find your favorite dock and make sure to catch the eclipse while enjoying the majesty of Lake Tahoe.