When and Where to View the Solar Eclipse in NYC
Get ready for the Great American Eclipse in New York City!
On August 21, 2017, the United States will have a rare opportunity to see a total solar eclipse along a wide part of the country stretching from Oregon to Georgia. Here in NYC, we’ll have a partial solar eclipse—about 70 percent of the sun will be covered when the moon passes directly between the sun and the earth.
What’s the Big Deal?
Solar eclipses have a unique path
Although the sun is 400 times larger than the moon, the moon is able to block out the sun’s light to Earth when it passes directly in between them. That’s what causes a solar eclipse! Solar eclipses have a defined path—depending on where you are in relation to its path, you may see a total eclipse (no sunlight in the daytime), a partial eclipse, no eclipse at all, or sometimes an annular eclipse (what looks like a ring of fire around the moon).
Total solar eclipses are rare
Although a total solar eclipse is visible from some place on Earth about every 18 months, the last time the United States experienced a coat-to-coast total solar eclipse was 1918—99 years ago! After August 21, the next coast-to-coast total solar eclipse is due on August 12, 2045.
NYC hasn’t experienced a total eclipse since 1925. The next total eclipse in NYC will take place on May 1, 2079. We'll experience another partial eclipse on April 8, 2024.
So, if you’re planning on getting a good look at the Great American Eclipse, here are the details on when and where to view the solar eclipse in New York City:
Monday, August 21 at 2:44 p.m. – The best time to view the eclipse is between 1:23 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. (weather permitting). The actual event occurs at 2:44 p.m. The eclipse will last only three minutes, so be prepared!
Safety – Know Before You Go
- You should never stare directly into the sun.
- Under no circumstances should you attempt to view the eclipse without proper eye protection. You must wear solar eclipse viewing glasses or use handheld solar views that are safety rated.
- Sunglasses should NOT be used and are NOT safe for viewing the solar eclipse.
- If you're driving in New York City, please turn on headlights and guard against direct sunlight exposure to the eyes. The eclipse will create midday dusk-like darkness between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Learn more about viewing the solar eclipse safely
You will be able to view the eclipse from anywhere in NYC. However, the eclipse may appear most dramatic in an open, lit space, such as a field, where no shadows are being cast and where there are no unobstructed views of the sky to the west. Beaches and some waterfront parks are also good spots to get a good look at the eclipse. Here’s where we recommend:
The Parade Ground at Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
This huge, open 66-acre ballfield on the park’s west side is one of its most scenic and historic spots – the National Guard used the Parade Ground for training during World War I. Visit Van Cortlandt Park
A previous version of this article listed Wave Hill as a place to go; Wave Hill will be closed on Monday, August 21.
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
This vibrant neighborhood park sits high up on a hill with a clear view of the sky and one-of-a-kind panorama of the horizon, the New York Harbor, and the Manhattan skyline. Visit Sunset Park
American Veterans Memorial Pier, Brooklyn
The NYC Ferry stops here! There are picnic tables along the pier so you can enjoy a 360-view of the Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New Jersey, as well as the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, while you wait. Visit the American Veterans Memorial Pier
The Battery, Manhattan
The eclipse will take place in full view of Lady Liberty and Ellis Island at this flat park overlooking the water on Manhattan’s southern shore. This is bound to be a popular location for eclipse trackers, so arrive early for a good view! Visit the Battery
Sheep Meadow in Central Park, Manhattan
The eclipse may be hard to spot through Manhattan’s skyscrapers and dense forests. One location we recommend is Sheep Meadow, the flat and lush 15-acre expanse of grass, always popular with sunbathers—or eclipsebathers, in this case! Visit Central Park
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
From Queens’ largest park, it feels like you can watch the eclipse take place over the whole world, or at least over the iconic Unisphere. Further south is Meadow Lake. Rent a bike and ride around the eastern shore of the lake for the perfect viewing location, then head up to the New York Hall of Science to keep experiencing natural wonders. Visit Flushing Meadows Corona Park
MacNeil Park, Queens
This quiet park in College Point Queens offers spectacular views, and not just from low-flying planes from the nearby La Guardia Airport. From MacNeil Park, you can look out along every direction, and see Long Island City and midtown Manhattan in the distance. Visit MacNeil Park
Conference House Park, Staten Island
Head to NYC’s southernmost park for a panoramic view of the horizon and a clear view of the sun in the sky! Visit Conference House Park
Faber Park, Staten Island
This park on the North Shore looks out west along the shoreline with beautiful views of the Bayonne Bridge and New Jersey. Visit Faber Park
Want to learn more about the amazing wonders of our universe? Join our Urban Park Rangers at an Astronomy event in the park. Learn about our solar system and stars you'll see at night, right here from NYC! Find an upcoming Astronomy event