By this point, I would assume that nearly everyone has heard about today's solar eclipse. I realize that there are folks who are unaware, so if you know anyone like that, keep this to yourself and let them be surprised by what happens later.

Just a quick few details for those who've decided that seeing 89% of the eclipse here in Rockford is better than driving 6 hours and paying out the nose for that extra 11%.

(Info courtesy of TimeAndDate.com)

  • Eclipse begins at at 11:51am
  • The best time for viewing today's solar eclipse in and around the Rockford area is 1:16pm.
  • Eclipse event ends at 2:39pm
  • Expected duration of the event is 2 hours and 48 minutes.
  • Maximum magnitude for the Rockford area is 89% (how much of the eclipse you'll see since we're not in the "Path of Totality.")

Don't forget to be careful about your viewing of the eclipse. According to NASA, the following materials should never be used to view a solar eclipse:

  • sunglasses of any kind
  • color film
  • medical X-ray film
  • smoked glass
  • floppy disks

If you are not the DIY type, the American Astronomical Society has compiled a list of vendors where you can buy safe eclipse glasses. NASA recommends welder's glasses rated 14 or higher. These can be found at your local welding supply store. Keep in mind that welder glass grading may be different in different countries.

If you're too busy to catch the solar eclipse today, here's a list of some upcoming celestial events:

Here's the livestream for today's event: