Several solar eclipse viewing events planned in Bay Area – FOX 13 Tampa

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While parts of the U.S. will see a total eclipse next Monday, experts say the Tampa Bay Area will see it at about 60%. That has several popular places for visitors planning viewing events.

Kevin MacKay, an astronomy professor at USF, says you’ll see a crescent shape if you have solar eclipse glasses or other tools to view it.

“There’ll be a big chunk taken out of the sun,” he said. “It may look a bit dull, and the temperature might drop, maybe five or 10 degrees.”

RELATED: Here are the best ways to safely view the 2024 Solar Eclipse in the Bay Area

MacKay witnessed a total solar eclipse in 1999. He was teaching in Ireland, and took a group of students to the southwest of England to see the total solar eclipse.

This time, he’s one of many people around the country traveling to see the eclipse. He’s going to Indianapolis to be in the line of totality and view his second total solar eclipse.

“I’ve got a friend who lives in Indianapolis, and totality goes right over the top of their house,” MacKay said. “So it’s about 1,000-mile drive. I’ve got to witness it again.”

If you’re in the line of totality, MacKay says there will be complete darkness for about three minutes.

“In the last 15 minutes before totality, it’s like God has his hand on a dimmer switch, and he’s just turning down the lights, and you get this sense that the light level is going down,” MacKay said. “It’s a really eerie, weird feeling.”

There are solar eclipse viewing events around the Bay Area on Monday. The Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival will be hosting a solar eclipse viewing event, in addition to the massive sandcastle festival. The first 2,500 visitors will get free solar eclipse glasses.

READ: 2024 Solar Eclipse: Everything you need to know

“Visitors can stop by the Visit ST. Pete/Clearwater tent starting at noon to pick up their free solar eclipse glasses,” Lisa Chandler, the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival Founder, said. “And then the solar eclipse is supposed to be from 1:45 to 4:15.”

Experts say solar eclipse glasses are the best way to look at the eclipse. They say it can be dangerous to look straight up at the sky without glasses or another filter, and can cause blindness or other damage.

“12312-2,” Jose Cotayo, an education specialist at MOSI, said. “That is the certification that they need to have for you to safely, directly view the sun. Here we actually have an event where we’ll have some sun-safe telescopes that are designed just for observing the sun.”

MOSI is having a solar eclipse viewing party on Monday that is open to all ages. Hands-on activities will start at 2 p.m. MOSI says the best time to view the eclipse will be at 3 p.m. Tickets are $14.50 for children and $18.50 for adults. Glasses are included with your ticket.

The following Hillsborough County locations will be holding viewing events on Monday:

  • 12 p.m. at Hillsborough Community College, 10451 Nancy Watkins Dr, Tampa, FL 33619
  • 1 p.m. at John F. Germany Public Library, 900 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa, FL 33602
  • 1:15 p.m. at SouthShore Regional Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin, FL 33573
  • 1:30 p.m. at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 McLendon St, Plant City, FL 33563
  • 2:15 p.m. at Arthenia L. Joyner University Area Community Library, 13619 N. 22nd St., Tampa, FL 33613
  • 2:30 p.m. at Egypt Lake Partnership Library 3403 W. Lambright St., Tampa, FL 33614

The St. Pete College Planetarium is holding a solar eclipse viewing event on Monday, starting at 1:30 p.m. It’s free and open to the public. Eclipse viewers and equipped telescopes will be available in the quad area of the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus near the Natural Science building.

Several Pinellas County locations will also be hosting viewing parties:

  • 1:30 p.m. at Safety Harbor Public Library, 101 2nd Street North, Safety Harbor, FL 34695
  • 2:30 p.m. at Great Explorations Children’s Museum, 1925 4th Street North St. Petersburg, FL, 33704
  • St. Petersburg College (Seminole Campus), 9200 113th Street North, Seminole, FL 33772

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