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Keystone Resort’s Guide to the 2017 Solar Eclipse

On Monday, August 21st 2017, the so-called ‘Great American Total Solar Eclipse’ will shadow the skies from Oregon to South Carolina. It’s our nation’s first total solar eclipse since 1979, and it is also the first solar eclipse to cross from the West Coast to the East Coast since 1918. While Keystone, Colorado may not lie specifically in the ‘the path of totality’, viewing part of the eclipse is possible from our geographical location. It is a historical event worth being prepared for, and below we have comprised a brief guide to ensure you get the most out of your viewing experience with us.

Photo courtesy of NASA

What exactly is a solar eclipse?

According to Space.com, a total solar eclipse “occurs when the disk of the moon appears to completely cover the disk of the sun in the sky.” What makes such an eclipse so special is what happens when the moon fully blocks the sun. “The sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona, becomes visible… skywatchers report seeing great jets and ribbons of light, twisting and curling out into the sky.” Additionally, the geographical areas inside the moon’s shadow descent into twilight for a brief period of time. Keystone, Colorado will experience a partial eclipse, with 90.97% of the sun eclipsed by the moon.

Where can I see the solar eclipse at Keystone Resort?

For the best viewing, we recommend heading up the River Run Gondola to the summit of Dercum Mountain. Here you will have an uninterrupted view of the sky at 11,640 feet! Our Overlook Grill, located on the Summit House deck, will be open from 11am to 3pm as a dining option.

What are the viewing times?

According to Space.com’s Eclipse Countdown app, Keystone’s partial eclipse process begins at 10:21am. We will reach our maximum eclipse viewing at 11:45am, and the eclipse process will fully end at 1:12pm.

Example of Keystone, Colorado’s maximum eclipse viewing, with 90.97% eclipsed. Photo courtesy of Space.com

How can I stay safe during the eclipse?

The most important safety concern during an eclipse is eye and vision safety. Looking directly at the sun is unsafe during the entirety of Keystone’s eclipse process. According to NASA, “the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters; homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.”  For more reading on eye and vision safety during an eclipse, we recommend NASA’s Solar Eclipse Safety Guide.

How can I view the eclipse safely?

While most local shops are sold out of the protective eyewear, an alternative for viewing directly is to create a “pinhole projector”. AAS has provides instructions to enjoy the partial phases of the eclipse: AAS Pinhole Projection Guide.

For further reading on the event, consider NASA’s Eclipse Activity Guide.


Articles referenced in post:

Total Solar Eclipse 2017: when, Where and How to See It (safely)

How to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse Safely