Total Eclipse of the Sun

People use protective glasses to observe a partial solar eclipse.
People use protective glasses to observe a partial solar eclipse.
Partial eclipse of the sun.
San Mateo County will see a partial eclipse of the sun on August 21.

Eclipse Across America

For the first time in 99 years, a solar eclipse will be visible throughout all of North America.

Anyone within the path of totality - a term which describes the phenomenon where the moon blocks out the sun completely, and only the sun's corona can be seen - will see a rare total eclipse of the sun. The path of totality will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina.

In San Mateo County we will see a partial solar eclipse, where 70 to 80 percent of the sun will be eclipsed by the moon. The eclipse starts Monday, August 21, shortly after 9:00 AM. If you miss it, you will have to wait until April 8, 2024 to see the next one.

People experience an eclipse at the San Carlos Library rotunda.
People experience an eclipse at the San Carlos Library rotunda.

Experience the Eclipse at the Library

At San Mateo County Libraries, we are super excited to celebrate this rare celestial phenomenon. On August 21, five libraries will open early for eclipse events, activities and live streams. Foster City, which will host its events at the Foster City Community Center, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica Sanchez Library, Millbrae Library and San Carlos, where patrons will view the eclipse in the library's famous two-story rotunda.

However you plan to observe the eclipse, make sure you do it safely!

It is never safe to look directly at the sun with the naked eye. All viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet international standards for direct observation of the sun. View NASA's safety criteria.

In addition, check out these instructions for safe viewing in both English and Spanish.

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