A partial solar eclipse will be visible across Western states on Sunday - and Saguaro National Park west of Tucson is one good place to catch the sun's disappearing act.

The park's visitor center, at 2700 N. Kinney Road, is hosting an eclipse viewing event Sunday afternoon.

But wait. Don't even think about taking in the eclipse without proper eye protection.

"We're emphasizing - profoundly - that people should not look at the eclipse with the naked eye or with sunglasses because that will cause damage to your eyesight. It's necessary to use solar glasses with a special filter," said Natalie Luna Rose, a Saguaro Park spokeswoman.

One model of the special glasses - known as Eclipse Shades - will be on sale for $1.99 a pair Sunday at the park's visitor center.


This year's annular eclipse - the first such eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1994 - will take place as the moon crosses in front of the sun.

From some of the best observation points, including sites in Northern Arizona, the moon will cover about 94 percent of the sun's light. In Tucson, the coverage will be 87 percent.

Partial eclipse views are expected to be good at Southern Arizona spots including Saguaro Park West.

Rose said some of the best views will be at sites such as the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which lies in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, and at Canyon de Chelly and Navajo national monuments in Northern Arizona.


A "viewing party" will be held at the park's visitor center Sunday from about 5:30 p.m. to sunset. The eclipse will be at its best at about 6:40 p.m.

"We'll have rangers and volunteers out there to guide people to the best viewing places," Rose said.

Regular park admission fees of $10 per vehicle will be in effect.

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if you go

• What: A solar eclipse "viewing party" at Saguaro National Park West.

• When: 5:30 p.m. to sunset on Sunday. The maximum eclipse will be at about 6:40 p.m.

• Where: The park visitor center is at 2700 N. Kinney Road.

• Safety: Be sure to bring protective "solar glasses" for viewing the eclipse or buy a pair at the visitor center for $1.99.

• Cost: Regular park admission of $10 per vehicle will be in effect."

• Information: 733-5158


Read Caliente's full guide to local eclipse-watching and other astronomical events.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@azstarnet.com or at 573-4192.