People across North America will witness the skies darkening briefly on Thursday thanks to a partial solar eclipse. Here’s what you need to know to get the best out of the fourth (and final) eclipse of 2014.
When to see it:
NASA released a chart showing when the eclipse starts in cities throughout North America, Canada and Mexico. In New York City, the event is set to start at 5:49 pm (local time). Here’s the info for some other major cities:
Austin : 4:54 pm
Chicago: 4:36 pm
Los Angeles: 2:08 pm
Miami: 6:27 pm
Washington, DC: 5:52 pm
How to see it:
If you do opt to view the event in nature, be careful: Staring directly at an eclipse, even a partial one, could seriously damage your vision. Instead, consider using eclipse glasses (sunglasses won’t cut it) or buying a filter for your telescope. A low-tech option is a pinhole camera (think the shoebox version you made in grade school). Space.com has an instructional video on how to make the device:
And for the sake of your eyes and smart phone, don’t Instagram the eclipse (unless you have a solar filter).
How will the eclipse affect my mood?
If you believe in this type of thing, you might find the solar eclipse a time when “emotional truths can be revealed and emotions can run rampant,” according to a website called Addicted to Astrology. Also, from the same site:
“Typically, this is not the time to make any major changes. If an eclipse (Lunar or Solar) falls in your sign, on your birthday or close to it (within three to five days), you are due for major changes in your life this year.”
The partial eclipse falls in the house of Scorpio. Per Cafe Astrology, that means:
“In the sign of Scorpio, matters related to intimacy, control, power, money, and sharing will be a strong focus on a personal level. This eclipse is about new beginnings regarding all of these matters.”
So there’s that. And don’t forget, Mercury is still in Retrograde until October 25. Happy viewing!
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.