The topic that everyone is buzzing about now is the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. This upcoming event marks the first time since 1979 that the total solar eclipse will be visible in a belt across the United States. The next opportunity to see one in multiple locations will be in 2024. If you plan to watch the event, do so safely with approved eclipse glasses. Do not use a telescope to look at the sun. If you want to watch the solar eclipse outdoors or online, these apps will help.
Solar Eclipse from Redshift
This app is recommended for anyone who wants to watch the event happen without actually looking at the sun. Solar Eclipse is available for iOS and Android devices. It shows you the event as it happens from different locations. You can also use it to pinpoint the best locations for viewing the eclipse if you are making last-minute travel plans. If you choose to keep the app after the upcoming eclipse, it will track other solar eclipses with similar information as they happen.
Smithsonian Eclipse 2017
This is another good app for following the event indoors. If you want to see it happen without viewing a simulation but cannot make it to a location in the path of totality, the Smithsonian’s app gives you access to a live stream of the event from NASA’s cameras. The app is available for both Android and iOS. You can enter your location in the app to see what percentage of the eclipse will be visible from your location. Also, it includes weather information and an interactive map that shows time, date and percentage information for other locations.
Solar Eclipse Timer
This app is also available for iOS and Android devices. If you live in an area on the eclipse’s path of totality or plan to trek to one, this app features countdown timers for each of the phases. With a simple setup, the app allows you to quickly see relevant data by clicking a location button. You must have GPS turned on for it to use this function. The app is only designed to work in areas that are in the path of totality.
There are additional apps available for tracking the phases of the eclipse or virtually watching it. However, CNET recommends these ones as the most reliable.