For many people, a total solar eclipse over the United States is a once-in-a lifetime event. The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery invites you to a Solar Eclipse Watch Party as we welcome the dramatic conjunction of the Sun and the Moon as seen from Earth.
On Monday, August 21, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Our local area will experience a deep partial eclipse of approximately 90%. A total eclipse, known as a totality, is considered by many to be the most dramatic astronomical occurrence visible on Earth.
“While there will be lots of people hosting eclipse viewing parties,” stated Jason Heaton, Director of Astronomy at the Boonshoft Museum, “the Museum is unique because of our solar equipment, such as our heliostat, and our qualified staff. Members of our Astronomy staff will be available throughout the event.”
Heaton added, “In addition to the many programs we will be doing inside the building if the weather is clear, we will have a selection of safe solar viewers on hand. We will be outside with a telescope with a solar filter, multiple handheld devices created for viewing the Sun safely, and plenty of eclipse glasses.”
The Solar Eclipse Watch Party is an opportunity for viewing the eclipse outdoors (weather permitting). The Astronomy Department of the Museum has also scheduled a show in the Planetarium hosted by Astronomy Educator Joseph Childers. Called The Great Eclipse of 2017, the show, which began its run in July, teaches visitors how to safely view a solar eclipse whether they’re staying in Ohio or travelling south to observe the totality.
The Planetarium program helps visitors discover ways to view the Sun’s beauty all-year-round with phenomena such as rainbows, halos, and auroras, and explore how studying the Sun helps astronomers understand other stars in our galaxy. On August 21, as the total eclipse moves across the continental US, our astronomers will be tuning in to various total eclipse webcams along the path of totality and streaming these live in the dome.
The Museum will also screen a regularly scheduled program, Space Park 360, ordinarily featured in the Space Theater. Other programs leading up to the solar eclipse include Evening of Astronomy: The Solar Eclipse, Friday, August 18 – Guests can learn what causes eclipses, what to expect during the 90% partial solar eclipse, and the optimum way to view it. The free program begins at 7:00 p.m. Weather permitting, live observing will continue throughout the evening in the Apollo Observatory.