Our sun is dynamic and ever-changing. On Friday, July 14, a…

Our sun is dynamic and ever-changing. On Friday, July 14, a solar flare and a coronal mass ejection erupted from the same, large active region. The coils arcing over this active region are particles spiraling along magnetic field lines.

Solar flares are explosions on the sun that send energy, light and high-speed particles into space. Such flares are often associated with solar magnetic storms known as coronal mass ejections. While these are the most common solar events, the sun can also emit streams of very fast protons – known as solar energetic particle (SEP) events – and disturbances in the solar wind known as corotating interaction regions (CIRs).

Learn more HERE.

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How to shoot and where to watch the solar eclipse in the US in 2017

When shooting still images or video of a solar eclipse, one rule: special-purpose solar filters must always remain on cameras and telescopes during the partial phases. Only during totality is it safe to remove them (see our Eye Safety section). Filters should fit snugly over the front of all camera lenses and telescopes, but not so tight that they’re difficult to remove quickly at the start of totality.


Shooting totality apply only if you’re within the path of the Moon’s umbra, or dark inner shadow. On August 21, 2017, this path is only about 70 miles wide but stretches from the Oregon coast to the South Carolina coast. Outside the path, you’ll have only a partial eclipse.


You should practice before August 21, 2017, by shooting the uneclipsed Sun (filters on, of course) in the days or weeks leading up to the eclipse.


While you’re practicing shooting the Sun to see how much of your camera’s frame it will fill, also test exposures for the partial phases. Place your camera in manual mode, set the aperture, shoot a range of different exposures (using a solar filter, of course), and see which one produces the most pleasing results

Software developer Xavier Jubier has posted his Shutter Speed Calculator for Solar Eclipses online. Among other features, it illustrates the image size of the Sun for various combinations of camera model, sensor size, and focal length.


The Sun’s atmosphere varies tremendously in brightness. The inner corona shines as bright as the full Moon; the outer corona is less than 100th as bright (in other words, it’s quite dim). One exposure cannot capture this wide dynamic range. That’s why eclipse photographers shoot a sequence of exposures (using a fixed f-stop) that range from very short ones to very long ones. This gives you the best chance of capturing all aspects of the solar atmosphere.

At the short end (1/1,000 second or less), only the innermost corona clinging to the solar limb appears. At the long end (1/10 second or longer if you can hold sufficiently steady), the inner corona is burned out, but the faint tendrils of the outer corona show up nicely. There is no single correct exposure for totality, so your best bet, at any f-stop, is to shoot a sequence spanning the full range from the short exposure you used for the partial phases to the longest exposure you can manage without blurring (perhaps a few tenths of a second).

If you do manage to capture a series of totality exposures, you can turn them into a thing of beauty using a computer. There’s image-processing software that allows you to rotate/align individual frames to match and create seamlessly blended stacks of short, medium, and long exposures to achieve amazing results. The lovely image at the beginning of this article is a composite of 13 telephoto shots with exposures ranging from 1/1,600 to 1/13 second at ISO 640 and f/10.

More Articles About Solar-Eclipse Imaging & Video

Here’s an entire book on the subject by a renowned astrophotographer:

Here’s a handy online tool to help you choose your camera settings:

Here are some of the most remarkable images ever captured of total solar eclipses:


Nearly everyone in the U.S. will be within a day’s drive of the path of the total eclipse.

The western part of the U.S. always has the best chance for clear skies.

Madras, Oregon

Totality begins: 10:19 PDT
Duration: 2 minutes, 4 seconds

The city has planned a SolarFest to celebrate the event and welcome folks to watch with them.

Snake River Valley, Idaho

Totality begins: 11:33 a.m. MDT
Duration: 2 minutes, 18 seconds

Info on events and places to stay can be found here.


Casper, Wyoming

Totality begins: 11:42 a.m. MDT
Duration: 2 minutes, 26 seconds

The city is planning a number of special events that can be found here.


Sandhills of western Nebraska

Totality beings: 11:49 a.m. MDT
Duration: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

Sandhills country of Nebraska has had good eclipse-viewing weather on 70% of late August days An entire weekend of events for people who come to watch the eclipse.


St. Joseph, Missouri

Totality begins: 1:06 p.m. CDT
Duration: 2 minutes, 39 seconds

A large eclipse viewing party is being organized at the Rosecrans Memorial Airport with educational speakers, solar telescopes.


Carbondale, Illinois

Totality begins: 1:20 p.m. CDT
Duration: 2 minutes, 41.6 seconds

If you want to experience the very longest eclipse duration, spot on the centerline of eclipse near Carbondale.


Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Totality: 1:24 p.m. CDT
Duration of totality: 2 minutes, 41.2 seconds

Check out this website for tips on places to view the eclipse.


Nashville, Tennessee

Totality begins: 1:27 p.m. CDT
Duration: 1 minute, 57 seconds

This website offers a number of locations and tips for viewing locations in and around Music City.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee & North Carolina)

Totality begins: 2:35 p.m. EDT
Duration: 1 minute, 17 seconds

If the weather cooperates, the Great Smoky Mountains will offer great views for the eclipse. You can get that information here.


Columbia, South Carolina

Totality begins: 2:43 p.m. EDT
Duration: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

The city has an entire long weekend of activities planned for the eclipse, and you can get details here.



Eclipse Start & End: Local Time for US States

The eclipse will begin over the Pacific Ocean at 15:46 UTC, which corresponds to 8:46 am Pacific Time. It will reach the coast of Oregon at Lincoln City, just west of Salem, at 9:04 am local time. The eclipse will reach its maximum point here at 10:17 am.

From here, the Moon’s central shadow will move inland. The following table shows when the Moon will begin to move in front of the Sun and the moment it completely covers the Sun, as seen from some locations along the central path of the eclipse.

All times are local.

Location Partial Eclipse Begins Sun Completely Obscured
Salem, OR 09:05 am PDT 10:18 am PDT
Idaho Falls, ID 10:15 am MDT 11:33 am MDT
Casper, WY 10:22 am MDT 11:43 am MDT
Lincoln, NE 11:37 am CDT 1:03 pm CDT
Sabetha, KS 11:38 am CDT 1:05 pm CDT
Jefferson City, MO 11:46 am CDT 1:14 pm CDT
Carbondale, IL 11:52 am CDT 1:21 pm CDT
Hopkinsville, KY 11:56 am CDT 1:25 pm CDT
Nashville, TN 11:58 am CDT 1:28 pm CDT
Talulah Falls, GA 1:07 pm EDT 2:37 pm EDT
Columbia, SC 1:13 pm EDT 2:43 pm EDT
Charleston, SC 1:16 pm EDT 2:47 pm EDT

Please note that this list includes only a small selection of locations where the total eclipse will be visible. You can look up more locations in our Eclipse Database or via the Eclipse Map.

See Eclipse Map for local info

Maximum Point: Best Location to View the Eclipse

The maximum point of the eclipse will take place near Hopkinsville, Kentucky at 18:20 UTC, which is 1:20 pm local time. Here, totality will last for 2 minutes and 40 seconds.