Skip to main Content
Alaska Life

Want to watch the eclipse in Alaska? Here’s what you need to know.

A partial solar eclipse visible through clouds over Anchorage in 2002.(Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News)

Getting excited about seeing the solar eclipse Monday? Just know that the weather might not be in your favor.

Alaska isn't in the path of totality — where the moon completely blocks out the sun — but a partial eclipse will be visible in Anchorage and other parts of the state.

In Anchorage, the partial eclipse will begin at 8:21 a.m. and hit its maximum at 9:16 a.m. before ending at 10:13 a.m.

But how much of the sun will be visible is a big question mark. The forecast is not looking optimistic.

Meteorologist Kyle Van Peursem with the National Weather Service in Anchorage said to expect a lot of precipitation over the weekend. He said to expect that cloudy system to hang around into Monday morning.

Cloud cover is expected to be "mid to high," Van Peursem said, which means that heading into the mountains to try to break through the cover probably won't make any difference.

"It just doesn't look good in terms of visibility for seeing the eclipse," he said.

The Anchorage Museum is planning an eclipse party on its front lawn Monday. Viewing will be compromised if there are cloudy skies, but the party will go on regardless of the weather, according to Jeanette Anderson Moores, public relations and marketing manager for the museum.

But if the weather holds up, volunteers from the University of Alaska Anchorage will be on hand to answer questions about the eclipse. The museum will open at 8 a.m. and coffee will be available for purchase.

Telescopes will be available as well as free solar glasses. People can also get solar glasses ahead of time by going to the museum and viewing the planetarium's daily "Totality" show on solar eclipses.

In Fairbanks, rainy weather and cloud cover is expected to make for less-than-ideal viewing in Interior Alaska. But the University of Alaska Fairbanks plans to host an eclipse viewing party from 8 to 10:15 a.m. Monday outside the Reichardt Building on the UAF campus.

There will be solar glasses, telescopes and a radio telescope — a 12-foot-diameter dish positioned on top of a 6-foot pole — that will be able to show a drop in hydrogen emissions from the sun, indicating the partial eclipse even under cloud cover.

The university will also be showing the NASA livestream of the total eclipse inside Pearl Berry Boyd Hall.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Anchorage Museum's event was weather dependent. While cloudy skies would compromise the viewing, the Museum plans to hold the event regardless. 

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.