The Best Ways to Watch the Eclipse Online (No Viewing Glasses Required)

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the path of totality. These unique livestreams have you covered

Solar Eclipse 2017: Watch NASA's eclipse live stream starting at 9 a.m. Pacific Time

Eclipse day is finally here. This afternoon, the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow in a thick swath across the United States. Many have flocked to this path of totality to see the eclipse in all it's glory. But even if you couldn't make the trip, you’re facing cloudy skies, couldn’t scrounge up a pair of non-counterfeit eclipse glasses or simply can’t leave your windowless office to check it out, there are still several great options for watching the event online.  

NASA: Eclipse Live

The space agency is hosting the most comprehensive online coverage of the event. The livestream (embedded at the top of this article) starts with a preview show at 12 P.M. eastern time hosted from Charleston, South Carolina, where the path of totality will conclude in the lower 48. The agency will then begin streaming the eclipse live as it makes its 100-minute, 14-state march across the country, streaming images from more than a dozen monitoring sites, which include the International Space Station, more than 50 high-altitude balloons deployed across the eclipse path, and sites in Idaho and Wyoming, Carbondale, Illinois, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and even a Coast Guard cutter stationed in the Atlantic.

In addition to the video above, the livestream is available on NASA’s TV channel, Facebook Live, YouTube, Periscope, Twitch TV and UStream.

Slooh, an online community that provides livefeeds of space from robotic telescopes, has also emerged as a strong online hub for the eclipse community. The site is hosting a five-hour long Eclipse celebration and livestream that it promises will cover the eclipse “from the moment the Moon's shadow first touches Earth's surface, before racing from one coast to the other, capturing everything from the partial phases across the country to the magical moment of totality as it streaks across the United States at supersonic speeds!”

The livecast will include commentary from astronomers at Slooh's eclipse headquarters in Stanley, Idaho, along with feeds from sky watchers based along the entire path of totality.

Slooh is also simulcasting a Spanish-language version of their livestream.

The Weather Channel/Twitter

The Weather Channel and Twitter have teamed up for their own livestream of the Great American Eclipse. Their coverage, beginning at noon, will track the eclipse live on Twitter from 10 locations across the path of totality. The coverage will include shots from drones and feeds from NASA, as well as coverage of a Red Bull cliff-diving contest under the shadow of the moon.

National Geographic Total Solar Eclipse Live

National Geographic will stream coverage on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter following the course of the eclipse with astronomers and astronauts answering viewer questions. Tune in at 12:30 PM ET to NatGeo's coverage to catch some of the first views of the eclipse out over the Pacific ocean, captured by a photographer on board an eclipse-chasing plane.

San Francisco Exploratorium

The Exploratorium will stream several channels of eclipse content, including a three-hour eclipse event narrated by experts. They are also offering other options including a Spanish-language livestream. Most distinct about their coverage, is a channel that will stream the eclipse accompanied by a live performance by Kronos Quartet of the three-hour-long composition “233rd Day” by Wayne Grim. The performance will include translating digital information from four telescopes following the eclipse into digital sound which will be incorporated into the music. An algorithm based on the movement of the planets visible during the eclipse will also weave those signals into the music.

“The experience of translating astronomical events into music is profound,” Grim says in the press release. “You get a chance to listen to light, to understand the relationship between the sun, the moon, and the earth in a new way. I’m elated to have a chance to collaborate with the stars on this piece—I’ve been a fan of Kronos Quartet since I first heard Black Angels, and I’ve been a fan of the sun for literally as long as I’ve been alive.”

Whether you are eagerly awaiting in the path of totality or stuck indoors, there are plenty of options to catch that eerie moment of darkness.

Get the latest stories in your inbox every weekday.