Safely Viewing the Solar Eclipse in Maine

ORONO, MAINE (WABI) We've been hearing about the total solar eclipse happening across the United States one week from today.

Currently, the long range forecast calls for partial clouds which means Mainers will be able to partake in the viewing.

Joy Hollowell tells us how to safely view the solar show as well as the best spot to do so.

"This solar eclipse is the first time since 1918 that the entire lower 48 states will be able to see a solar eclipse," says Shawn Laatsch, Director of the Emera Astronomy Center at the University of Maine in Orono. "So the path of totality will start over Oregon and pass all the way through to South Carolina.

Mainers will only see part of the eclipse, 54.7% according to Laatsch.

"A solar eclipse takes place when you have the sun, the moon and the earth in a perfect alignment and the moon is casting a shadow here on planet earth," he explains.

It will start around 1:35 in the afternoon next Monday with prime viewing scheduled for 2:46 p.m. The entire eclipse will be over in our area by about 4 in the afternoon.

The Emera Astronomy Center is urging folks to use caution when viewing the eclipse.

"Our eyes don't have pain sensors and we can do damage," warns Laatsch.

The center is offering free and safe viewing of the solar eclipse from one until four. They'll have telescopes with special filters as well as pin hole projectors. The center is also be handing out free eclipse glasses.

"The biggest piece is we want to make sure folks are being safe with their eyes," says Hannah Young, director of marketing development for the Bangor Public Library. "So we are also giving away eclipse glasses, two per family while supplies last."

The library also has instructions on its website on how to build a pin hole camera.

And while weather is always a factor-

"Basically, if you can see the sun, we'll be able to do some viewing of it," says Laatsch.
To learn more about the solar eclipse, look for the link on the home page of our website.

To learn more about the upcoming programs at the Emera Astronomy Center including those leading up to the eclipse, go to

On Wednesday night, Shawn Laatsch will be speaking at the Bangor Public Library. The event is free and runs from 5: 30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with time afterwards for questions.