City of Concord California

News Release

August 15, 2017

Preparing for the partial solar eclipse next Monday

On Monday, Aug. 21, a total eclipse of the sun will stretch across the U.S. in a 60-mile band from Oregon to South Carolina. In Concord, viewers will see a partial eclipse (76 percent) beginning at approximately 9 a.m. and ending at 11:30 a.m. An Eclipse Viewing Party will be held at the Pleasant Hill Library, 1750 Oak Park Blvd., from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes in between the earth and the sun. The last time a total solar eclipse could be seen in the U.S. coast to coast was 1918, almost 100 years ago. Everyone in North America, Central America, and part of South America will get to experience at least a partial eclipse this time.

The California Public Utilities Commission is asking consumers to “give the sun a break” and reduce electricity use from 9 to 11 a.m. as the eclipse will affect the California solar resources supplying power to the grid. Grid operators have all the tools necessary to manage the grid during the eclipse, but if Californians reduce usage during the two-hour window, operators won’t have to use less efficient natural gas to replace the energy normally produced by the sun.

While the eclipse may be exciting, safety is a concern. Looking directly at the sun during an eclipse could cause severe eye damage. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) offers some tips for safe viewing:

  • Make sure to wear special eclipse glasses if you plan to look directly at the partial eclipse.
  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
  • Do not look at the partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
  • Use a “pinhole projector” if you don’t have the proper safety equipment.

For more information, visit NASA’s eclipse website,

City of Concord CA