Are you ready?! How to prepare for the Maine Solar Eclipse

First, it is good to know some background information about what you will see on Monday, April 8th. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the earth and the sun. At the right angle, the moon blocks the sun’s light from reaching earth and causes a solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are in a direct line. It is visible from only certain locations on earth when the center of the Moon’s shadow hits the earth, the sky goes dark and we can experience changes in temperature and sounds. Watch this solar eclipse animation from NASA for a visual.


Second, in order to watch the solar eclipse, you will need to wear eclipse glasses or use a pinhole camera. This means at all times except for totality when the moon completely covers the Sun’s face (yes, even if it’s cloudy or raining).

  • The only safe way to view partial phases of the eclipse is with viewing (eclipse) glasses or through a handheld solar viewing (i.e. a pinhole camera)

  • Do not view partial eclipse phases with sunglasses, through a camera lens, binoculars or a telescope

  • If your viewing glasses are damaged in any way, discard them and do not use them

  • You can view the eclipse directly without eye protection only when the moon completely blocks the Sun’s face (totality)


Third, plan ahead for viewing the eclipse. If you are traveling, be aware that Maine is expecting an influx of travelers, so plan for traffic, packed gas stations, and restaurants. Here are a few suggested items to bring with you to experience the solar eclipse:

  • Eclipse viewing glasses and/or pinhole camera

  • Appropriate clothing for the weather

  • Snacks, water

  • First aid kit

  • A comfortable spot for viewing (ex. folding chairs, blankets for warmth)