Clouds may interfere with viewing of solar eclipse Thursday

Posted at 8:12 AM, Oct 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-23 08:12:24-04
Simulated view of partial solar eclipse, October 23, 2014

Simulated view of partial solar eclipse, October 23, 2014

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After getting lucky with great conditions to see the total lunar eclipse recently, West Michigan skygazers may not be so fortunate Thursday as a partial solar eclipse occurs just before sunset.

The above image shows a bit of what the scene may look like — the moon will pass in front of part of the sun as it goes down.  The eclipse will start at 5:36 P.M. in Grand Rapids and continue to develop as the sun sets at 6:46 P.M.  Just less than half the sun’s surface area will be obscured from our vantage point in West Michigan.

Clouds will be increasing from west to east Thursday afternoon, which may make any viewing in our area difficult.  But if we do manage to remain clear, you’ll need an unobstructed view of the western horizon in order to see anything, as the sun will be very low in the sky even as the eclipse begins.

You should never look directly at the sun, even during an eclipse. Here are tips on safe viewing from NASA.