What time is the solar eclipse? Look your ZIP code for a viewing guide

What time is the solar eclipse? look your ZIP code for a viewing guide

Get ready for a spectacular show: A total solar eclipse will occur above the U.S. on the afternoon of April 8. Most Americans will be able to see it in some form, but the distance between your location and the path of totality will determine how much of the sun will be covered by the moon. Many places in the U.S. − Rochester, N.Y., Cleveland, and Austin, Texas, to name a few − will see a total eclipse, in which the sun is completely obscured. Other locations will see a partial eclipse. Search for your ZIP code below or select a major city to reveal the time, duration, peak and percentage of the eclipse in your area.

What time is the eclipse? How long will it last? What will it look like?

When is the eclipse?

On April 8 the moon will travel along the path of totality in North America starting in northern Mexico. The shadow of the moon will pass into Texas a little before 1:30 p.m. local time. It will then cover portions of the Midwest and East Coast and touch southeast Canada before it moves out to sea, according to NASA.

Are free eclipse glasses safe? How can I view the eclipse safely without glasses?

If you buy or are given eclipse glasses, be sure they are made by companies the American Astronomical Society and NASA have certified as safe. Eclipse glasses should all have the "ISO" (International Organization for Standardization) icon. The glasses also must have the ISO reference number 12312-2.

If you cannot find certified glasses, there are other ways to view the eclipse, including with a shadow box you can make yourself. Whatever you do, don't look at the sun without proper protection.

How does an eclipse work? How often do eclipses occur? Where can I learn more about the science?

A total eclipse occurs when the moon appears the same size as the sun and blocks the entire disk, leading to a period of darkness lasting several minutes. The resulting "totality," when observers can see the outermost layer of the sun's atmosphere, known as the corona, confuses animals – nocturnal creatures stir, and bird and insects fall silent.

Credit: Ramon PadillaKarina Zaiet