Solar Eclipse Spectacular

August 21, 2017 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Don’t miss an opportunity to join Cosmic Mike® and the North Museum on August 21, 2017 from 10 am – 5 pm for a rare cosmic event! Millions of Americans will witness a solar eclipse and the Museum will celebrate occasion with…

… and of course, various ways to safely observe the eclipse, including specialized solar telescopes that reveal numerous surface features of the sun.

Planetarium shows and activities will also be available on August 19 and 20 too! More details to come regarding all three dates.

This spectacular phenomenon occurs when the sun, the moon, and the Earth line up in a row with the moon in the middle, blocking part of the sun from our perspective.

This is an event not to miss as it won’t happen again until 2024. Don’t miss the first solar eclipse for Pennsylvania in 18 years!

Where will be on August 21? We hope see you at the North Museum!

Solar Eclipse Fun Facts:

Solar Eclipse FAQ:

What’s the difference between a solar eclipse and lunar eclipse?
A solar eclipse is when the moon is positioned directly in between the sun and the Earth. As a result, the moon casts its shadow onto the Earth’s surface. Anyone located within the path of the shadow will have the opportunity to observe the solar eclipse. From our perspective we will see the moon slowly move in front of the sun, blocking a certain percentage of the sun. Observing solar eclipses requires special eye protection as looking at the sun directly, without protection, can damage your eyes.

A lunar eclipse is when the Earth is directly in between the sun and moon. The result yields the moon moving into Earth’s shadow. From our perspective the moon will darken and appear like it is going through its phases, but isn’t. When the moon is completely within the Earth’s shadow the moon will appear slightly reddish in color.

For more info on eclipses, visit NASA’s website

Can Lancaster actually observe the eclipse?
Yes. Even though Lancaster won’t experience Totality, when the sun is completely covered by the moon, we’ll still be able to see a partial eclipse. Approximately 76% of the sun will be covered by the moon at maximum eclipse.

When will the eclipse take place?
Eclipse begins @ 1:18 pm
Maximum coverage of the sun occurs at 2:42 pm
Eclipse ends @ 3:59 pm

How do I safely observe the eclipse? One should never look directly at the sun as it can damage the eyes. There are several ways to safely observe the eclipse: Solar Eclipse shades, projecting the sun onto another surface, and telescopes with proper solar filters

Where can I get a pair of solar eclipse shades?
The North Museum is currently selling custom made North Museum solar eclipse shades in our gift shop, while supplies last.

Can I observe the eclipse with sunglasses?
No. Sunglasses do not filter enough sunlight as solar eclipse shades do to safely observe the sun.

Can I use my cell phone camera to take photos of the eclipse?
Not directly without special protection. The intense sunlight can damage the components within your cell phone including the camera. Make sure phone has a special filter in front of the camera or that you’re taking a photo of a filtered projection of the sun.

Why is this solar eclipse a big deal and one not to miss?
There is a lot of excitement surrounding the eclipse mainly because solar eclipses don’t happen very often for the United States. Can you remember the last time you saw one? The last time the continental United States experienced a total solar eclipse was 38 years ago! The next opportunity won’t be until April 2024.

Scientifically, solar eclipses helped prove Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Solar eclipses also allow scientists to study the sun’s corona, the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere.

If it is mainly cloudy will I still be able to see the eclipse?
Unfortunately if it raining or extremely cloudy, you will not be able to observe the eclipse, at least not directly. There will be numerous places providing live webcasts of the eclipse.  If it is cloudy here in Lancaster, we’ll provide a projection of one of the webcasts in our planetarium, the SciDome Theater.  

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