UPDATE (2017 Aug 15) – We are not able to help with or advise on specific travel plans for eclipse. If you plan to drive to the path of totality, be prepared for considerable (several hours) traffic delays. Bring food and water, and know where you’re going before you leave.
On the morning of August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible across the continental United States. The Moon’s shadow will also pass through Idaho, and visitors from all around the world will flock to our state.
This will be the first eclipse visible across the United State since 1979 and the last one visible from Idaho for more than 150 years. For two hours, the Moon’s disk will cross the disk of the Sun, completely blotting it out for about two minutes during the height of the eclipse.
The eclipse will be visible to the naked eye, but before and after the total eclipse, viewing the Sun directly can potentially damage the eye. And thousands upon thousands of visitors are expected to come to Idaho.
This website is intended to provide resources for the eclipse, with some specifics relevant to Idaho.
- Interactive Google Eclipse Map
- NASA’s 2017 Eclipse Page
- Idaho Statesman Video Explanation of the Eclipse
- Techniques & Tools to View the Eclipse
- State of Idaho’s Eclipse Website
- Idaho’s Board of Tourism’s white paper on the Eclipse – Tips on how to deal with visitors to small towns
- Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s Eclipse Website
- When is the eclipse?
In Idaho, the eclipse begins at 10:10am, with the total eclipse starting about 11:25am and running about 2 minutes. The eclipse ends about 12:48am.
- Is the total eclipse visible from Boise?
The eclipse will be very nearly but not quite complete as viewed from Boise. The path of totality from which the total eclipse is visible is about an hour north of Boise. The total eclipse is visible across Idaho, from Weiser to Idaho Falls. Check out the eclipse map above for details.
- Is it safe to view the eclipse?
During the total eclipse, the Moon’s disk completely covers the Sun’s disk, and so it is safe to look at the Sun during that short time. However, before and after the total eclipse, the Sun may be bright enough to damage your eyes. The link above to Techniques & Tools to View the Eclipse provides different ways to safely view the uncovered Sun.
- Is Boise State holding any public events for the eclipse?
Yes! Boise State has a state-wide program of eclipse outreach which will involve site visits to give presentations about the eclipse and distribute eclipse shades. Contact Prof. Brian Jackson of Boise State Physics Dept. if you’d like to schedule a visit. In addition, Boise State will host a variety of public events in Boise throughout 2017. Keep up-to-date by regularly visiting the Physics Dept. website and Prof. Jackson’s website, astrojack.com.
- How can my town prepare for the eclipse and all the people who may visit?
The Idaho Board of Tourism has put together a helpful white paper with suggestions. In addition, Prof. Brian Jackson can help answer any questions.
- I’d like to buy some eclipse shades online. How can I tell if they are safe?
The American Astronomical Society has a website which addresses that question.
- Can I use welder’s glass to observe the Sun?
There are certain grades of welder’s glass that are dark enough for observing the Sun. However, many types are NOT dark enough, and the danger of using welder’s glass that not quite dark enough is that you can damage your eyes without feeling any pain. Your best option is to purchase a pair of eclipse shades – very cheap, easy to use, and safe.