About Fred Espenak

Fred Espenak is a scientist emeritus and NASA's expert on eclipses. He maintains NASA's eclipse website as well as the MrEclipse.com website on eclipse photography. Espenak is co-author of the popular book "Totality - Eclipses of the Sun", the enormous "Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses" with 5000 years of eclipse maps, and most recently "Lessons from the Masters: Current Concepts in Astronomical Image Processing". An avid eclipse chaser, he's participated in dozens of eclipse expeditions around the world. In 2003, the International Astronomical Union honored him by naming an asteroid "Espenak". Now retired and living in rural Arizona, Fred spends most clear nights losing sleep and photographing the stars (www.AstroPixels.com).

Events for April 2018

The following table gives the date and time of important astronomical events for April 2018.

The time of each event is given in Greenwich Mean Time or GMT (a.k.a. Universal Time or UT). To convert GMT to Eastern Standard Time (EST) just subtract 5 hours. To convert GMT to other time zones, visit Time Zones.

Some of the astronomical terms used in the calendar are explained in
Definitions.

 Date    GMT   Astronomical Events for April 2018
------  -----  --------------------------------------------
        (h:m)
Apr 01  18     Mercury at Inferior Conjunction 
Apr 03  14:14  Jupiter 3.9°S of Moon
Apr 03  17     Saturn at Aphelion 
Apr 07  12:50  Saturn 1.9°S of Moon
Apr 07  18:15  Mars 3.1°S of Moon
Apr 08  05:32  Moon at Apogee: 404145 km
Apr 08  07:18  LAST QUARTER MOON 
Apr 10  08:09  Moon at Descending Node 
Apr 14  09:24  Mercury 3.9°N of Moon
Apr 16  01:57  NEW MOON 
Apr 17  19:29  Venus 5.4°N of Moon
Apr 18  15     Uranus in Conjunction with Sun 
Apr 19  04:45  Aldebaran 1.1°S of Moon
Apr 20  14:44  Moon at Perigee: 368713 km
Apr 22  18     Lyrid Meteor Shower
Apr 22  21:46  FIRST QUARTER MOON 
Apr 23  06:17  Beehive 1.9°N of Moon
Apr 23  12:19  Moon at Ascending Node 
Apr 24  16:47  Venus 3.4°S of Pleiades
Apr 24  19:39  Regulus 1.2°S of Moon
Apr 29  18     Mercury at Greatest Elongation: 27.0°W
Apr 30  00:58  FULL MOON 
Apr 30  17:16  Jupiter 3.8°S of Moon

As the events above transpire, I will post photographs of some of them at Recent Images.

Astronomical events calendars for complete years and for eight time zones are available through the links below.

Time Zones Calendars of Astronomical Events
Greenwich Mean Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Atlantic Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Eastern Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Central Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Mountain Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Pacific Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Alaska Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Hawaii Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

For additional years, see Calendars of Astronomical Events.

For information on all solar and lunar eclipses this year, see: Eclipses During 2018.

The Calendars of Astronomical Events were all generated by a computer program I wrote (with THINK Pascal running on a Macintosh G4) using Astronomical Algorithms (Jean Meeus).

Fred Espenak



Events for March 2018

The following table gives the date and time of important astronomical events for March 2018.

The time of each event is given in Greenwich Mean Time or GMT (a.k.a. Universal Time or UT). To convert GMT to Eastern Standard Time (EST) just subtract 5 hours. To convert GMT to other time zones, visit Time Zones.

Some of the astronomical terms used in the calendar are explained in
Definitions.

 Date    GMT   Astronomical Events for March 2018
------  -----  --------------------------------------------
        (h:m)
Mar 01  05:09  Regulus 0.9°S of Moon
Mar 02  00:51  FULL MOON 
Mar 04  06     Mercury 1.1° of Venus
Mar 04  14     Neptune in Conjunction with Sun 
Mar 07  06:57  Jupiter 4.1°S of Moon
Mar 09  11:20  LAST QUARTER MOON 
Mar 10  00:37  Mars 3.8°S of Moon
Mar 10  11     Mercury at Perihelion 
Mar 11  02:37  Saturn 2.2°S of Moon
Mar 11  09:13  Moon at Apogee: 404682 km
Mar 14  03:47  Moon at Descending Node 
Mar 15  15     Mercury at Greatest Elongation: 18.4°E
Mar 17  13:12  NEW MOON 
Mar 18  19:07  Venus 3.7°N of Moon
Mar 19  08     Mercury 3.8° of Venus
Mar 20  16:15  Vernal Equinox 
Mar 22  22:33  Aldebaran 0.9°S of Moon
Mar 24  15:35  FIRST QUARTER MOON 
Mar 26  17:17  Moon at Perigee: 369104 km
Mar 27  00:52  Beehive 2.2°N of Moon
Mar 27  10:56  Moon at Ascending Node 
Mar 28  13:38  Regulus 1.0°S of Moon
Mar 31  12:37  FULL MOON 

As the events above transpire, I will post photographs of some of them at Recent Images.

Astronomical events calendars for complete years and for eight time zones are available through the links below.

Time Zones Calendars of Astronomical Events
Greenwich Mean Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Atlantic Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Eastern Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Central Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Mountain Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Pacific Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Alaska Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Hawaii Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

For additional years, see Calendars of Astronomical Events.

For information on all solar and lunar eclipses this year, see: Eclipses During 2018.

The Calendars of Astronomical Events were all generated by a computer program I wrote (with THINK Pascal running on a Macintosh G4) using Astronomical Algorithms (Jean Meeus).

Fred Espenak



Events for February 2018

The following table gives the date and time of important astronomical events for February 2018.

The time of each event is given in Greenwich Mean Time or GMT (a.k.a. Universal Time or UT). To convert GMT to Eastern Standard Time (EST) just subtract 5 hours. To convert GMT to other time zones, visit Time Zones.

Some of the astronomical terms used in the calendar are explained in
Definitions.

 Date    GMT   Astronomical Events for February 2018
------  -----  --------------------------------------------
        (h:m)
Feb 01  18:24  Regulus 0.9°S of Moon
Feb 07  15:54  LAST QUARTER MOON 
Feb 07  19:47  Jupiter 4.3°S of Moon
Feb 09  05:12  Mars 4.4°S of Moon
Feb 11  14:16  Moon at Apogee: 405701 km
Feb 11  14:46  Saturn 2.5°S of Moon
Feb 11  16:40  Mars 5.0°N of Antares
Feb 14  21:11  Moon at Descending Node 
Feb 15  20:51  Partial Solar Eclipse; mag=0.599
Feb 15  21:05  NEW MOON 
Feb 17  12     Mercury at Superior Conjunction 
Feb 23  08:09  FIRST QUARTER MOON 
Feb 23  17:07  Aldebaran 0.7°S of Moon
Feb 27  14:48  Moon at Perigee: 363938 km
Feb 27  17:28  Beehive 2.3°N of Moon
Feb 28  05:03  Moon at Ascending Node 

As the events above transpire, I will post photographs of some of them at Recent Images.

Astronomical events calendars for complete years and for eight time zones are available through the links below.

Time Zones Calendars of Astronomical Events
Greenwich Mean Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Atlantic Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Eastern Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Central Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Mountain Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Pacific Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Alaska Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Hawaii Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

For additional years, see Calendars of Astronomical Events.

For information on all solar and lunar eclipses this year, see: Eclipses During 2018.

The Calendars of Astronomical Events were all generated by a computer program I wrote (with THINK Pascal running on a Macintosh G4) using Astronomical Algorithms (Jean Meeus).

Fred Espenak



Events for January 2018

The following table gives the date and time of important astronomical events for January 2018.

The time of each event is given in Greenwich Mean Time or GMT (a.k.a. Universal Time or UT). To convert GMT to Eastern Standard Time (EST) just subtract 5 hours. To convert GMT to other time zones, visit Time Zones.

Some of the astronomical terms used in the calendar are explained in
Definitions.

 Date    GMT   Astronomical Events for January 2018
------  -----  --------------------------------------------
        (h:m)
Jan 01  20     Mercury at Greatest Elongation: 22.7°W
Jan 01  21:54  Moon at Perigee: 356566 km
Jan 02  02:24  FULL MOON 
Jan 03  06     Earth at Perihelion: 0.98329 AU
Jan 03  19:50  Beehive 2.3°N of Moon
Jan 03  20     Quadrantid Meteor Shower
Jan 04  07:48  Moon at Ascending Node 
Jan 05  07:24  Regulus 0.9°S of Moon
Jan 08  22:25  LAST QUARTER MOON 
Jan 09  06     Venus at Superior Conjunction 
Jan 11  05:59  Jupiter 4.3°S of Moon
Jan 11  10:03  Mars 4.6°S of Moon
Jan 13  08     Mercury 0.7° of Saturn
Jan 15  02:10  Moon at Apogee: 406461 km
Jan 15  02:13  Saturn 2.6°S of Moon
Jan 15  07:24  Mercury 3.4°S of Moon
Jan 17  02:17  NEW MOON 
Jan 18  14:28  Moon at Descending Node 
Jan 23  17     Venus at Aphelion 
Jan 24  22:20  FIRST QUARTER MOON 
Jan 25  11     Mercury at Aphelion 
Jan 27  10:09  Aldebaran 0.7°S of Moon
Jan 30  09:54  Moon at Perigee: 358995 km
Jan 31  07:19  Beehive 2.3°N of Moon
Jan 31  13:27  FULL MOON 
Jan 31  13:30  Total Lunar Eclipse; mag=1.315
Jan 31  18:46  Moon at Ascending Node 

As the events above transpire, I will post photographs of some of them at Recent Images.

Astronomical events calendars for complete years and for eight time zones are available through the links below.

Time Zones Calendars of Astronomical Events
Greenwich Mean Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Atlantic Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Eastern Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Central Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Mountain Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Pacific Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Alaska Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Hawaii Standard Time 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

For additional years, see Calendars of Astronomical Events.

For information on all solar and lunar eclipses this year, see: Eclipses During 2018.

The Calendars of Astronomical Events were all generated by a computer program I wrote (with THINK Pascal running on a Macintosh G4) using Astronomical Algorithms (Jean Meeus).

Fred Espenak



Events for December 2017

The following table gives the date and time of important astronomical events for December 2017.

The time of each event is given in Greenwich Mean Time or GMT (a.k.a. Universal Time or UT). To convert GMT to Eastern Standard Time (EST) just subtract 5 hours. To convert GMT to other time zones, visit Time Zones. Some of the astronomical terms used in the calendar are explained in Definitions.

 Date    GMT   Astronomical Events for December 2017
------  -----  --------------------------------------------
        (h:m)
Dec 03  13:00  Aldebaran 0.8°S of Moon
Dec 03  15:47  FULL MOON 
Dec 04  08:42  Moon at Perigee: 357496 km
Dec 07  00     Mercury 1.3° of Saturn
Dec 07  09:30  Beehive 2.5°N of Moon
Dec 08  00:39  Moon at Ascending Node 
Dec 08  22:25  Regulus 0.7°S of Moon
Dec 10  07:51  LAST QUARTER MOON 
Dec 12  12     Mercury at Perihelion 
Dec 13  02     Mercury at Inferior Conjunction 
Dec 13  16:27  Mars 4.2°S of Moon
Dec 14  06     Geminid Meteor Shower
Dec 14  14:26  Jupiter 4.2°S of Moon
Dec 18  06:31  NEW MOON 
Dec 19  01:27  Moon at Apogee: 406605 km
Dec 21  16:29  Winter Solstice 
Dec 21  20     Saturn in Conjunction with Sun 
Dec 22  10:04  Moon at Descending Node 
Dec 22  15     Ursid Meteor Shower
Dec 26  09:20  FIRST QUARTER MOON 
Dec 31  00:25  Aldebaran 0.7°S of Moon

As the events above transpire, I will post photographs of some of them at Recent Images.

Astronomical events calendars for complete years and for eight time zones are available through the links below.

Time Zones Calendars of Astronomical Events
Greenwich Mean Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Atlantic Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Eastern Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Central Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Mountain Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Pacific Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Alaska Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Hawaii Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

For additional years, see Calendars of Astronomical Events.

The astronomical highlight of 2017 is the Great American Total Solar Eclipse on August 21. This is the first total eclipse visible from the continental USA in 38 years. For complete details on this highly anticipated event, see: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse (EclipseWise.com).

For information on all solar and lunar eclipses this year, see: Eclipses During 2017.

The Calendars of Astronomical Events were all generated by a computer program I wrote (with THINK Pascal running on a Macintosh G4) using Astronomical Algorithms (Jean Meeus).

Fred Espenak



Events for November 2017

The following table gives the date and time of important astronomical events for November 2017.

The time of each event is given in Greenwich Mean Time or GMT (a.k.a. Universal Time or UT). To convert GMT to Eastern Standard Time (EST) just subtract 5 hours. To convert GMT to other time zones, visit Time Zones. Some of the astronomical terms used in the calendar are explained in Definitions.

 Date    GMT   Astronomical Events for November 2017
------  -----  --------------------------------------------
        (h:m)
Nov 02  13:58  Venus 3.3°N of Spica
Nov 04  05:23  FULL MOON 
Nov 05  11     S Taurid Meteor Shower
Nov 06  00:09  Moon at Perigee: 361438 km
Nov 06  02:19  Aldebaran 0.8°S of Moon
Nov 10  01:58  Beehive 2.7°N of Moon
Nov 10  20:37  LAST QUARTER MOON 
Nov 10  22:40  Moon at Ascending Node 
Nov 11  16:07  Regulus 0.4°S of Moon
Nov 12  11     N Taurid Meteor Shower
Nov 12  17:50  Mercury 2.2°N of Antares
Nov 15  00:40  Mars 3.2°S of Moon
Nov 17  17     Leonid Meteor Shower
Nov 18  11:42  NEW MOON 
Nov 21  00:34  Saturn 3.0°S of Moon
Nov 21  18:52  Moon at Apogee: 406132 km
Nov 24  00     Mercury at Greatest Elongation: 22.0°E
Nov 25  08:22  Moon at Descending Node 
Nov 26  17:03  FIRST QUARTER MOON 
Nov 29  14:30  Mars 2.9°N of Spica

As the events above transpire, I will post photographs of some of them at Recent Images.

Astronomical events calendars for complete years and for eight time zones are available through the links below.

Time Zones Calendars of Astronomical Events
Greenwich Mean Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Atlantic Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Eastern Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Central Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Mountain Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Pacific Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Alaska Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Hawaii Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

For additional years, see Calendars of Astronomical Events.

The astronomical highlight of 2017 is the Great American Total Solar Eclipse on August 21. This is the first total eclipse visible from the continental USA in 38 years. For complete details on this highly anticipated event, see: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse (EclipseWise.com).

For information on all solar and lunar eclipses this year, see: Eclipses During 2017.

The Calendars of Astronomical Events were all generated by a computer program I wrote (with THINK Pascal running on a Macintosh G4) using Astronomical Algorithms (Jean Meeus).

Fred Espenak



Events for October 2017

The following table gives the date and time of important astronomical events for October 2017.

The time of each event is given in Greenwich Mean Time or GMT (a.k.a. Universal Time or UT). To convert GMT to Eastern Standard Time (EST) just subtract 5 hours. To convert GMT to other time zones, visit Time Zones. Some of the astronomical terms used in the calendar are explained in Definitions.

 Date    GMT   Astronomical Events for October 2017
------  -----  --------------------------------------------
        (h:m)
Oct 02  02:05  Moon at Descending Node 
Oct 03  09     Venus at Perihelion 
Oct 05  18:40  FULL MOON 
Oct 08  00     Mars at Aphelion 
Oct 08  21     Mercury at Superior Conjunction 
Oct 09  05:51  Moon at Perigee: 366858 km
Oct 09  18:05  Aldebaran 0.6°S of Moon
Oct 12  12:25  LAST QUARTER MOON 
Oct 13  20:29  Beehive 3.0°N of Moon
Oct 14  22:10  Moon at Ascending Node 
Oct 15  10:54  Regulus 0.2°S of Moon
Oct 17  10:04  Mars 1.8°S of Moon
Oct 18  00:21  Venus 2.0°S of Moon
Oct 19  17     Uranus at Opposition 
Oct 19  19:12  NEW MOON 
Oct 21  11     Orionid Meteor Shower
Oct 24  11:54  Saturn 3.3°S of Moon
Oct 25  02:25  Moon at Apogee: 405151 km
Oct 26  18     Jupiter in Conjunction with Sun 
Oct 27  22:22  FIRST QUARTER MOON 
Oct 29  06:41  Moon at Descending Node 

As the events above transpire, I will post photographs of some of them at Recent Images.

Astronomical events calendars for complete years and for eight time zones are available through the links below.

Time Zones Calendars of Astronomical Events
Greenwich Mean Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Atlantic Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Eastern Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Central Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Mountain Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Pacific Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Alaska Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Hawaii Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

For additional years, see Calendars of Astronomical Events.

The astronomical highlight of 2017 is the Great American Total Solar Eclipse on August 21. This is the first total eclipse visible from the continental USA in 38 years. For complete details on this highly anticipated event, see: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse (EclipseWise.com).

For information on all solar and lunar eclipses this year, see: Eclipses During 2017.

The Calendars of Astronomical Events were all generated by a computer program I wrote (with THINK Pascal running on a Macintosh G4) using Astronomical Algorithms (Jean Meeus).

Fred Espenak



Events for September 2017

The following table gives the date and time of important astronomical events for September 2017.

The time of each event is given in Greenwich Mean Time or GMT (a.k.a. Universal Time or UT). To convert GMT to Eastern Standard Time (EST) just subtract 5 hours. To convert GMT to other time zones, visit Time Zones. Some of the astronomical terms used in the calendar are explained in Definitions.

 Date    GMT   Astronomical Events for September 2017
------  -----  --------------------------------------------
        (h:m)
Sep 01  06:08  Venus 1.4°S of Beehive
Sep 04  18:41  Moon at Descending Node 
Sep 05  00     Mercury 3.2° of Mars
Sep 05  04     Neptune at Opposition 
Sep 06  07:03  FULL MOON 
Sep 10  05:30  Mercury 0.7°S of Regulus
Sep 10  21:44  Jupiter 2.9°N of Spica
Sep 12  10     Mercury at Greatest Elongation: 17.9°W
Sep 12  12:09  Aldebaran 0.4°S of Moon
Sep 13  06:25  LAST QUARTER MOON 
Sep 13  16:04  Moon at Perigee: 369856 km
Sep 15  12     Mercury at Perihelion 
Sep 16  14:50  Beehive 3.1°N of Moon
Sep 16  18     Mercury 0.1° of Mars
Sep 17  18:28  Moon at Ascending Node 
Sep 18  00:56  Venus 0.5°N of Moon: Occultation
Sep 18  04:32  Regulus 0.1°S of Moon
Sep 18  23:22  Mercury 0.0°N of Moon: Occultation
Sep 19  21:30  Venus 0.4°N of Regulus
Sep 20  05:30  NEW MOON 
Sep 22  07:51  Jupiter 3.7°S of Moon
Sep 22  20:02  Autumnal Equinox 
Sep 27  00:09  Saturn 3.5°S of Moon
Sep 27  06:49  Moon at Apogee: 404342 km
Sep 28  02:54  FIRST QUARTER MOON 

As the events above transpire, I will post photographs of some of them at Recent Images.

Astronomical events calendars for complete years and for eight time zones are available through the links below.

Time Zones Calendars of Astronomical Events
Greenwich Mean Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Atlantic Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Eastern Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Central Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Mountain Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Pacific Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Alaska Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Hawaii Standard Time 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

For additional years, see Calendars of Astronomical Events.

The astronomical highlight of 2017 is the Great American Total Solar Eclipse on August 21. This is the first total eclipse visible from the continental USA in 38 years. For complete details on this highly anticipated event, see: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse (EclipseWise.com).

For information on all solar and lunar eclipses this year, see: Eclipses During 2017.

The Calendars of Astronomical Events were all generated by a computer program I wrote (with THINK Pascal running on a Macintosh G4) using Astronomical Algorithms (Jean Meeus).

Fred Espenak



Eclipse Day Checklist

So the BIG DAY has finally come. Are you all ready for the 2017 Total Eclipse of the Sun? It’s important to be prepared to take in everything the eclipse has to offer. You’ll be outside for hours and there are a number of things you can do to make yourself comfortable.

The checklist below will help you plan the perfect eclipse experience! Do your homework and the only other thing you’ll need is perfect weather!

A series of nine images were combined into a time sequence of the total solar eclipse of 1999 August 11, from Lake Hazar, Turkey. The corona has been computer enhanced to show subtle details and prominences. Copyright 1999 by Fred Espenak.

A series of nine images were combined into a time sequence of the total solar eclipse of 1999 August 11, from Lake Hazar, Turkey. The corona has been computer enhanced to show subtle details and prominences. Copyright 1999 by Fred Espenak.

Eclipse Day Checklist

    Basic Checklist

  • Solar filters for your eyes (partial phases only; filters are removed during totality; and bring extra filters to share)
  • Straw hat, kitchen pasta colander, or cooking spoon with small holes to project pinhole images of partially eclipsed Sun on a white piece of cardboard (see: Safe Solar Eclipse Viewing)
  • Suitable clothing and large brimmed hat (you will be outside in the Sun for several hours)
  • Sunglasses (not for direct viewing of partial phases)
  • Comfortable folding chairs or picnic blanket to sit on
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Bug repellent
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Cooler filled with water and drinks
  • Snacks, sandwiches, etc.
  • Roll of toilet paper (for emergencies)
  • A list of your intended activities during the eclipse
  • Times of the eclipse contacts for your location (can be found using the EclipseWise 2017 Google Eclipse Map).
  • Digital watch or cell phone with accurate time (set on the day of eclipse)
  • A printed copy of Stages of a Total Solar Eclipse to help you keep track of everything to watch during the eclipse

    Equipment Checklist for Viewing and/or Photographing Eclipse
  • Binoculars and/or small telescope
  • Solar filters for binoculars and/or telescope
  • Camera equipment and tripod
  • Video camera and tripod
  • Audio recorder for your comments and impressions or to capture reactions of people or wildlife near you
  • Audio recorder with prerecorded messages timed to cue you about what to see next*
  • Extra batteries for all of the above
  • Pencil and paper to record impressions or to sketch (also to take down the names and addresses of fellow observers)
  • * there are some smart phone apps that do this (e.g., Solar Eclipse Timer or EclipseDroid)

You may also be interested in reading:
Best Ways to View the Solar Eclipse
Safe Solar Eclipse Viewing
Stages of a Total Solar Eclipse
Experiencing Totality
Mr. Eclipse’s “How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse”
Eclipse Photographer’s Checklist

Fred Espenak ©2017


Solar Corona

A composite image of the total solar eclipse of 2006 March 29 was shot in Jalu, Libya. It was produced from 26 individual exposures obtained with two separate telescopes and combined with computer software to reveal subtle details in the corona. Copyright 2006 by Fred Espenak.

Eclipse Photographer’s Checklist

Earlier this year I presented a live webinar on Solar Eclipse Imaging. One of the handouts I prepared was a checklist to help photographers get ready for the Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017. It listed many of the things you should do days or even weeks before the eclipse. That way, you’ll avoid many potential problems on the big day itself.

I’m reproducing it here to share with a bigger audience.

Photography Preparation Checklist (weeks before eclipse)

    Set up all your equipment for testing
  • Make checklist of all necessary equipment
    (camera, lens, solar filter, tripod, batteries, memory cards, cables, adapters, chargers, etc.)
  • Include any tools you will need
  • For video camera or computer, how long do batteries last?
  • If planning bursts with a DSLR, how may shots before buffer is full?

    For maximum stability, set tripod as low as practical
  • Do not extend center column
  • Hang weight (water bottle, bag of rocks, etc.) from center of tripod or tape to legs

    Practice aiming, framing and tracking the Sun with your camera
  • If using equatorial mount, learn how to polar align in daytime
    (use compass for NORTH & angle finder for LATITUDE)
  • If NOT using equatorial mount, practice tracking Sun
    (how long does it take the Sun to drift out of your field of view?)
  • Note: Sun moves across the sky at the rate of 1 diameter every 2 minutes

    Make sure you can remove the solar filter quickly without moving Sun out of field
  • Solar filter must be secure enough that wind won’t blow it off
  • Practice removing filter smoothly

    Prepare brief Eclipse Day notes
  • Use clipboard or index cards
  • List eclipse contact times for quick reference
  • Eclipse Day checklist
  • Any other notes you need at your fingertips

    Carefully pack up all your equipment
  • Set up all your equipment one last time
  • How long does it take to set up?
  • Consult checklist to make sure you have everything
  • Use poly tarp to lay out equipment before packing for eclipse
  • Don’t remove anything once you’ve packed

For more on the basics see Mr. Eclipse’s “How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse” and the Nikon Guide to Eclipse Photography. And check out Alan Dyer’s great ebook “How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse”.

Fred Espenak


As totality ends, the Sun begins to emerge from behind the Moon producing the dazzling diamond ring effect. Copyright 2005 by Fred Espenak.