AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: Watching the solar eclipse in West Seattle

(QUICK LINKS: Eclipse-viewing eventsNASA’s live stream)

(Eclipse through Patrick Taylor’s telescope at Myrtle Reservoir Park)

9:12 AM: We’re starting our eclipse coverage as more of a weather report. While it’s been sunny here in Upper Fauntleroy at ~300 feet, the fog’s rolling through again. We’re headed to check higher elevations. Updates to come.

9:22 AM: In general – if you’re socked in, head east/south. We’re at 35th/Thistle, and the sky’s blue both to the east (Highland Park/Westwood) and now to the north as we head toward High Point.

Myrtle Reservoir Park (35th/Myrtle; photos added above) is near the highest point in the city, lots of open space, and people are watching.

9:40 AM: Now arriving at High Point Library at 35th/Raymond. Big crowd. If you need a parking space, be prepared to walk a ways.

9:57 AM: The viewing party here is inside and outside. Outside, the view of the sun is on the east side of the library:

Thanks to everybody who offered to share their glasses – we took a quick look and even at partial, it’s amazing! Meantime, inside, the recently upgraded library meeting room has NASA’s live broadcast on the big screen:

The NASA stream includes a feed from the special Gulfstream aircraft that’s flying over the path of upcoming totality in Lincoln City, Oregon (read about it here) – it took off this morning from nearby Boeing Field, and is scheduled to return there around 12:30 pm.

10:04 AM: A lady here in the meeting room just announced to everyone that her daughter in Ocean Shores reports it’s “getting dark” there. In here, the NASA feed is having trouble due to overload.

Meantime, if you’re just going outside to see the near-totality, Lora Swift from the West Seattle Junction Association tells us skies are clear for their viewing party too (Junction Plaza Park, 42nd/Alaska, photo above).

And Jamie Kinney just tweeted the telescope-camera photo above.

10:34 AM: Maximum coverage has come and gone; the sun won’t be fully revealed again for about an hour in our area. More photos: First, eclipse “shadows” on the ground at High Point Library:

Peak-coverage crowd at High Point, with some “wows” and cheers:

At Junction Plaza Park, where Lora (who sent the photos from there) says about 200 people showed up!

Not far away, a few people went up to the roof at West Seattle Christian Church and sent this photo:

(added) At Jack Block Park – here are West Seattle High School teachers Joy Patman and Renee Phelps, eclipse-watching (thanks for the photos!):

Back to the sun and the moon – another photo from Jamie Kinney, taken at the 92 percent peak:

(Added: Here’s a gallery of Jamie’s images.) We will add video later that we rolled during the peak coverage. No, it did not get dark.

ADDED 12:45 PM: More photos – first, perhaps the most-enthusiastic eclipse viewer we saw:

Here’s High Point librarian Nathalie, who worked energetically to keep everyone informed of the eclipse status and what was going on at the library, inside and out:

Unique viewing apparatus included a colander:

Everyone we saw heeded the “don’t look without glasses” warnings:

One other unusual view – two Alki residents sent us this view of a “white rainbow” in the fog during the eclipse, looking across the low tide – this photo is from Lynn Hall:

Another gathering spot – Providence Mount St. Vincent. (Thanks for the texted photo!)

ADDED 5:32 PM: Thanks to Greg Snyder, a West Seattleite who went to Cascade, Idaho, to be in the totality zone, and shared this image:

And thanks to those who are sharing photos in the comment section below!

AND MORE: From Tom Stoner, another view of the “vegetation shadows” that showed the eclipse:

Another totality view – this one from Alki photographer David Hutchinson, who went south to watch, from “south of Baker City, Oregon, at the Weatherby Rest Area along I-84”:

P.S. The next solar eclipse visible in the U.S. will be in April 2024 – but nowhere near here.

26 Replies to "AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: Watching the solar eclipse in West Seattle"

  • HelperMonkey August 21, 2017 (9:26 am)

    skies are clear in Morgan Junction! 

  • SBRE August 21, 2017 (10:27 am)

    On the neighbors front porch with my special specs on my face, a bowl of oatmeal in my hand and 2 cats in my lap……


    LIFE IS GOOD!!! 

  • Karen Lyons August 21, 2017 (10:48 am)

    I was heading down to Alaska Junction to QFC. I could see how the ancients were spooked. It’s not like a sunset. The shadow of everything is much sharper and really long. Although we didn’t get that dark we did get a chill in the air at the height of the eclipse. Several people loaned me their glasses to look. Really great crowd at Junction Park. On the way back I met a group on the corner using a pin hole in a piece of cardboard shining on white paper, showing the eclipse. Way cool!

  • With Thanks August 21, 2017 (10:58 am)

    Many thanks to the generous people at Junction Plaza Park who offered to share glasses so we could get a glimpse — we will always remember the moment and your kindnesses!

  • Freely August 21, 2017 (11:00 am)
    Bright morning twilight
    Moon disrupts the sunshine star
    Who else is watching

  • WSFam August 21, 2017 (11:34 am)

    At the Westcrest P-Patch

  • Stuart August 21, 2017 (11:34 am)

    Thank you Highpoint Library! What a great sense of community and neighborly-ness as everyone offered to share glasses and explain what was happening! I did an impromptu stop by hoping to find some glasses and was so glad I did! Excellent organization by the library staffers keeping us all updated! Great event for all! ❤️Our libraries!

  • Jon August 21, 2017 (12:09 pm)

    Fake News. Plaza Park was maybe around 70-80 people, max. Still, it was busy and the organizers were very courteous in ensuring that everybody got a chance to safely view it (while enjoying many of their “sun”-themed snacks).

    Many of the local service workers popped by and borrowed glasses for a moment to see the partial eclipse.

    What a great experience. I hope that everybody got to enjoy it, at least for a moment.

    • WSB August 21, 2017 (12:12 pm)

      Crowd estimates are always tough.

    • Seaview August 21, 2017 (12:20 pm)

      Really Jon – did you have to call it fake news? This was incredibly rude,  inaccurate and uncalled for. The WSB was only reporting people came out to watch the eclipse and they do accurate reporting. They don’t have time to personally count every person but that doesn’t mean it is fake news if they are slightly off on the numbers.

      • WSB August 21, 2017 (12:32 pm)

        As attributed, it was Lora’s count (and her photos, which we appreciate, since this was a fast-enough-moving event that once we were ensconced at High Point, we were there for the duration). And having not been there in person, we don’t know whose estimate was closer, hers or Jon’s. – TR

        • Concerned August 21, 2017 (2:14 pm)

          I took it as a joke

          • Jon August 23, 2017 (4:06 pm)

            Smart, this one. :)

  • Jon Wright August 21, 2017 (12:14 pm)

    Nathalie and the gang at High Point Library were AWESOME! Thank you so much for hosting eclipse watching.

    • WSB August 21, 2017 (12:18 pm)

      She did a great job of coordinating, keeping everyone updated with shouted announcements – we took a photo of her to add to the coverage, along with several other photos we’re adding shortly. – TR

  • Norman August 21, 2017 (12:34 pm)

    I have to ask, did anyone else experience a funky feeling looking around them in the twilight during the eclipse? Like dizzy, different? I can only imagine it was the light spectrum being different. 

    • Heather August 21, 2017 (1:50 pm)

      Yes and that was really very interesting. I felt a bit off balance but not dizzy. I thought it was perception of spectrum too. I was surprised that it took my mind/body a noticeable period of time to adjust.

    • miws August 21, 2017 (4:09 pm)

      Norman, yes, I did feel a sensation during at least part of the eclipse. Not sure that I’d call it dizziness, but perhaps similar. 

      I didn’t view the eclipse, instead, I was vacuuming, which is normally a weekly task on Sunday, but I was away all day yesterday, and had an errand to run early this afternoon. 

      I was sitting down catching my breath for a moment and noticed a bit of an odd feeling. Due to chronic health issues, I get winded rather easily and while sitting there noticing this feeling was wondering if it was exertion-related or Eclipse-related. I really think it was the latter as it didn’t seem like the feeling I usually experience with the former. Best I can recall it and best I can describe it is more of a sensation similar to when clogged sinuses open a bit. 


  • Parent August 21, 2017 (1:01 pm)

        Yes Norman, my co-worker and I felt them same type of “dizziness” right after taking them off.  Not so much during because we were sharing so it was a pretty quick glance. 


  • yacman August 21, 2017 (1:56 pm)

    The real appeal of the eclipse is it’s novelty. What I love about life, is that something equally sensational happens twice every day: Sunrise and sunset. The secret to happiness, I think, is to maintain that sense of wonder and appreciation of these miracles every day.

  • onion August 21, 2017 (2:19 pm)

    Thanks to the West Seattleites who gave away extra eclipse glasses on nextdoor and elsewhere. I was disappointed in the prices being charged for pieces of cardboard with a few inches of eclipse-safe film — if you could even find them.  Your generosity was truly appreciated.

  • Rose Street Gang August 21, 2017 (2:52 pm)

    A group from Rose Street were at Lincoln City, OR for totality. Wanted to share with our neighbors in West Seattle. Cheers! Paula, Terra, Miguel, Sara, Lisa, Tina 

  • Mary August 21, 2017 (4:17 pm)

    Really enjoyed meeting my neighbors at the Morgan Junction Park during the eclipse this morning. We shared eclipse glasses, we shared boxes, we enjoyed all the “wow’s” and “awe’s” and magic of it all. How the light got dimmer and dimmer, and the air got cooler and cooler. What a fun day – loved getting to experience it with others, and how full of fun and awe the internets were today. Such a positive event we all needed!

  • Pilsner August 21, 2017 (5:27 pm)

    Man, traffic was awesome today. Science bless astronomical events!

    • bus rider August 21, 2017 (5:58 pm)

      I think quite a few people took the day off from work to see the eclipse. Traffic flowed smoothly. Hardly a slow down on the bridge or viaduct. My bus is usually standing room only. No one was standing today.

  • TheJunction August 23, 2017 (9:22 am)


    You may not have realized as you were sitting in the back of JPP, there were a large number of people in front of the large tree and on the corners.  


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