Home > Humboldt County > Full solar eclipse over Humboldt Sunday

Full solar eclipse over Humboldt Sunday

It’s rare, it’s cool, it’s going to get strangely dark and quiet between 6:24 – 6:29 pm when the moon passes directly in front of the sun — and Humboldt County will have a front row seat.

Unlike nighttime astronomical events, you don’t need to climb a mountain for best viewing, but you might not want to be standing in a grove of tall redwoods if you want to “see” it.

But! Don’t look directly at it, you hear? Staring at the sun is bad for the peepers. The moon will only cover some 96% of the sun, leaving enough solar rays to damage your sight organs. Make sure to explain that to the kids.

To view the eclipse, punch a hole in a piece of paper and project the image onto the ground or other flat object. You could also procure some fancy dark glasses out there if you can’t stop yourself from looking away.

MORE: Sunday’s ‘Ring Of Fire’

  1. Mitch
    May 20, 2012 at 6:41 am

    There’ll be an eclipse party at the Arcata Playhouse (Creamery), and there’ll be astronomers up at Kneeland airport in case it’s foggy on the coast.

    Keep in mind this is not a total eclipse so you shouldn’t expect to see the corona and you DEFINITELY should not look directly at the sun even when the eclipse is at its peak.

    The exploratorium has directions for building a pinhole projector:


  2. Anonymous
    May 20, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Praise Jesus!

  3. Anonymous
    May 20, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Yeah right. What are the odds of this happening, really. The sky is way too big, and space is even bigger. What I’m saying is, somebody’s been reading too many episodes of star trek. This is Y2K all over again.

  4. SNaFU
    May 20, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Humboldt has been in the dark since the color ‘green’ was discovered!

  5. jensmith@hotmail.com
    May 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I’m packed and ready to go when the aliens arrive at 5:40pm. Screw Earth I’ve had enough.

  6. May 20, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Anybody planning any human sacrifices?

  7. Gil Yule
    May 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Stinking clouds are going to mess up my eclipse!

  8. walt
    May 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    If the clouds come in, blame Hi Fi…

  9. Anonymous
    May 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    “I’ve got the sun in the morning and the moon at night!”
    Unless, of course, the fog rolls in as usual…

  10. erniebranscomb
    May 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Use an arc welding helmet to view the sun, torch goggles are not dark enough. Use a 10 or 11 shade lens.

    Garberville has high overcast, which should only help the viewing.

  11. jr
    May 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    This eclipse makes me think of Carly Simon’s song “You’re So Vain”. Why is that?

  12. Anonymous
    May 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Then you flew your Leer jet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun.

  13. Eric Kirk
    May 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I was at an eclipse party in Eureka and we almost missed the prime moments as a dark cloud covered up the sun about 10 minutes before. But it cleared just in time. We had special glasses, and it was something to see. It was my first total eclipse. Even my son, clearly underwhelmed beforehand, was impressed.

    Didn’t see the mountain beads though.

  14. May 21, 2012 at 4:36 am

    What an unusual light on everything. Very unreal.
    I wondered what people in the pre-classical thought about these events. Pretty heavy occurrence I imagine.
    In Religious Studies at HSU, the contention is that in Europe very ancient peoples worked cooperatively. They had no defenses built around their communities. No warriors. They must have had an idyllic existence, that is until the “Kurgans” arrived with their notions of “total war” and of course capitalism and monarchy.
    It’s so sad that we have to go back at least 10,000 years to find a time when war wasn’t there keeping capitalism in place. Only difference is back then it was all for a small group of royals, now it’s all for a small group of….hey, wait a minute..

  15. May 21, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Eric wrote, “We had special glasses, and it was something to see.”

    I think I saw it. Didn’t have glasses so tried a couple other things:

    I was in my garage, the opening of which faces west. The wife came out a bit after 6:30 asking something about the eclipse, which I’d forgotten about. She said it supposedly ended around 7:30. I figured I’d give watching a try.

    Grabbed a notepad, punched a hole in a piece of paper with a pencil, held the paper up with the notepad behind it- never understood how that could work.

    I’m not sure. It almost looked like you could see a corona on opposite sides of the image on the notepad. Except I’m not sure you’d see the corona using that method, would you? I would think all you would see is the occlusion- the dark image of the moon in front of the sun? Maybe what I thought was the corona was just glare from the clouds?

    Not very impressive, regardless.

    Then I grabbed my trusty Bushnell 7×35 binoculars. I’d heard you could point a telescope or binoculars at the eclipse, place a piece of paper behind the eyepiece and see the eclipse. Easier said than done as it was quite difficult to get the light in the lens at the right angle.

    I tried for some time and got the image on paper a few times. I believe I could see the occlusion but it must have been past full eclipse as it was on half to partly occluded, if I saw what I thought I was seeing.

    I guess I saw the eclipse….kinda.

  16. May 21, 2012 at 7:00 am

    I might add it’s too bad we didn’t have a good forest fire going on at the time. Get enough smoke in the air and you can look right at the sun. I saw sunspots with the naked eye when I was in Saudia Arabia.

    We were at the Port of Dammam one morning. The sky was still pretty thick with smoke from the Kuwait oil fires and you could look at the sun directly through the smoke. It was a big orange ball rising out of the East that day.

    I happened to look at it and saw what looked like some large spots. I grabbed my mini 7×20 binoculars and focused right on the sun. Sure enough, there was one big sunspot roughly the shape of an hourglass on it with another smaller dot underneath it.

    Pretty neat. Now that would be the way to watch an eclipse!

  17. Eric Kirk
    May 21, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Supposedly, if you look at the light going through the leaves of a tree or bush, there will be multiple crescent images on the leaves within. I didn’t test it yesterday.

    Actually though, what impresses me most about the experience isn’t the image in the sky which you can see in photographs and films. It’s the darkening – the eerie loss of sharpness of colors reminding you of the special effects in the Langoliers (before the silly Packman things appear) and the wind which comes up. No wonder King Arthur let the Connecticut Yankee go!

  18. Anonymous
    May 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

    We were sitting high on a bluff. The beach was silent, no wind, no breaking surf. As soon as the eclipse started, seals and sea lions along the entire visible stretch of rocks in both directions started barking and howling. They kept it going for the whole show. It was either an amazing coincidence or they saw it too.

  19. May 21, 2012 at 9:42 am

    It would be nice to see some photos posted.

  20. May 21, 2012 at 9:45 am

    …It’s the darkening – the eerie loss of sharpness of colors.

    I found that more interesting than what little I saw of the eclipse itself.

  21. May 21, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Hmmm??? I just thought of it. Wish I would have yesterday. I don’t know if it’s some hoax, but I’ve always heard you can view an eclipse by looking through smoked glass.

    You get a piece of glass, put a candle under it, or something along that line. Once the glass is dark from smoke you can supposedly see the eclipse without risk by looking through the glass.

    I’ve always assumed that was true but, since I didn’t see it mentioned in any of the recent chatter, it makes me wonder if it’s some old fable?

  22. Eric Kirk
    May 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Richard – Cliff Berkowitz posted some at LCO.


  23. Eric Kirk
  24. May 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Roundup of local eclipse images here, including awesome Carson Mansion picture: http://facebook/com/redwoodcoast

  25. May 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Opps. That should be http://facebook.com/redwoodcoast

  26. May 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Roundup of local eclipse images here, including awesome Carson Mansion picture

    Damn. Looking at that one with the Carson Mansion in it, now I feel like I did miss something.

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