Kauai will only get 20 percent of Monday’s eclipse

LIHUE — Like the rest of the state, Kauai will not have a decent vantage point to watch the upcoming solar eclipse.

“We’re really going to be on fringe of it, about less than 20 percent of the eclipse,” said Kevin Kodama, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu. “We’ll see hardly any of it. You have to be on the Mainland.”

The first solar eclipse to cross North America since 1918 will grace the U.S. continent Monday, starting in the mid-morning, depending on the time zone.

“It’s going to come up really early in the morning here,” Kodama said.

In Hawaii, the eclipse will happen about 6:30 a.m., he said.

The natural phenomenon, during which the moon passes between the Earth and the sun for about three hours, will be able to be viewed from the Mainland, parts of South America, Africa and Europe, according to the NASA website.

While Hawaii may not be privy to the eclipse, the University of Hawaii at Hilo scientists, including Shadia Rifai Habbal will be on the Mainland to collect data.

“Witnessing the event — which happens over an hour, when you are going from full daylight to nighttime — all of sudden you are immersed in darkness and you see this bright corona shimmering in the sky, it is something very, very unique,” Habbal said in a release.

Habbal and her team will be using spectrometers at five different sites to study the solar wind or gasses escaping from the sun.

“It tells us something about the whole universe and the formation of solar systems. So it’s a very profound idea and concept that we’re exploring,” she said.

To safely view the eclipse, it’s suggested to get solar glasses.

But on Kauai, it might take special equipment to see the eclipse.

“With special glasses, lenses, you might be able to see a little chunk of it,” Kodama said.

UH Hilo will be broadcasting the eclipse from a NASA viewing site, Lost River Field Station, near Mackay, Idaho. The live feed will begin at 6 a.m, and will be available via a UH Hilo Youtube channel.

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