The Best Seat in Pittsburgh for the Solar Eclipse
If you are geeking out about the upcoming celestial event, but unable to travel to an area where the sun will be completely blocked out, the Carnegie Science Center is the right viewing spot for you.
photos by Teghan Simonton
You may have heard by now, the United States will experience a solar eclipse on Monday.
Anyone within a 70-mile wide path that stretches through 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a total eclipse. During those brief moments — when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face for about two minutes — day will turn into night. We've found a nifty tool that uses your zip code to show you how the eclipse will look where you live.
Pittsburgh will experience about 80-percent totality, peaking at 2:35 p.m.
The Carnegie Science Center will have an array of special events and activities for Pittsburghers to safely view the eclipse. They will offer views of the eclipse through telescopes with special hydrogen alpha filters that protect their equipment and your eyes. You will be able to hook your smartphone up to one of the telescopes and take pictures of the eclipse. You will also be able to purchase “eclipse glasses” equipped with safety filters from the Science Center’s XPLOR Store.
According to Science Center’s Program Development Coordinator Ralph Crewe, looking at an eclipse without eye protection is potentially blinding. Safe viewing methods, such as “Eclipse glasses,” number 14 welder’s glass, or indirect methods (pinhole projection or a live-stream video), are crucial when watching the event.
Mike Hennessy, the Science Center’s Buhl Planetarium and Digital Media Manager, says the Science Center will live-stream the eclipse from cities in the path of totality with “New Year’s Eve style” countdowns in the center’s Buhl Planetarium.
Crewe says the Science Center will also offer an eclipse luncheon for those working downtown to conveniently view the eclipse during their lunch break.
“We will see a little over 80 percent of eclipse around 2:35 p.m.,” says Crewe. Just in time for lunch!
The last coast to coast eclipse in the U.S. took place in 1918. Hennessy even called it “a huge cosmic coincidence.”
“It’s something people will remember for a lifetime,” he says.