How to track the solar eclipse this weekend

Want to check out the solar eclipse this weekend? We'll show you how to figure out if you'll be able to see it.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

An annular solar eclipse will occur this weekend, giving people in Southeast Asia and the western U.S. the chance to witness something truly amazing. If you want to watch the solar eclipse but aren't sure what time it'll be visible in your area, there are a couple different ways you can figure it out.

iPhone app
If you own an iPhone, you can download a free app that will use your GPS location to tell you if you'll be able to see the eclipse and at what time.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Annular Solar Eclipse 2012 (download link) goes one step further than letting you know if you'll be able to see the eclipse. You can view an animation of what you'll be able to see, and at what time. If you own an iPhone 4 or 4S, you'll also be able to use augmented-reality to show you exactly where to look just by holding your phone up and following the arrow. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a similar app for Android users; if you know of one, please leave a comment below with a link to it.

Click to enlarge Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

NASA-approved map
If you're not an iPhone users, you can use a map created by NASA to view the path of the eclipse, as reported by The Next Web. By clicking on the map, you'll be given a timeline as well as coordinates of where to look to view the eclipse. Keep in mind the time provided on the map is Universal Time, which you can convert to local time on this help page.

Check the weather
One more thing to consider when planning your eclipse viewing this weekend is the weather. Using a weather app on your smartphone, such as Weather Underground (iOS | Android), will enable you to see if the skies will be clear or cloudy hour-by-hour.

According to both the map and the app, people as far as Alabama will be able to catch at least a glimpse of the solar eclipse on Sunday evening. Get outside, set up some chairs, and enjoy the show. If you're a beginning photographer, or simply curious about the best way to photograph the solar eclipse, check out Sharon Vaknin's post.