Solar Eclipse 2017

An historic total solar eclipse will cross the United States on Monday, August 21, 2017. Although Tucson is not in the “path of totality,” we will see a 60 percent partial solar eclipse. Flandrau is the perfect place to help you prepare for the eclipse. Come to Flandrau for the Solar Eclipse Weekend on Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20 to learn about how an eclipse happens and to buy your solar viewing glasses. We’ll have special planetarium shows, eclipse activities, and more. Then, on the big day, gather on the UA Mall in front of Flandrau to view the eclipse.

Friday

2pm We Are Stars: Eclipse Mini Talk
4pm Mysteries of the Unseen World 
5pm Partial Eclipse of the Tucson Sky
6pm Touring the Solar System 
7pm Phantom of the Universe
8pm Partial Eclipse of the Tucson Sky
9pm Monthly Laser Light Music Show 
 

Saturday

12pm Magic Tree House Space Mission: Eclipse Edition
1pm Touring the Solar System 
2pm Mysteries of the Unseen World 
3pm Partial Eclipse of the Tucson Sky
4pm We Are Stars: Eclipse Mini Talk
5pm Partial Eclipse of the Tucson Sky
6pm Touring the Solar System 
7pm Phantom of the Universe
8pm Partial Eclipse of the Tucson Sky
9pm Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon 
 

Sunday

1pm Magic Tree House Space Mission: Eclipse Mini Talk
2pm Touring the Solar System 
3pm We Are Stars: Eclipse Mini Talk
4pm Partial Eclipse of the Tucson Sky

Monday

4pm Partial Eclipse of the Tucson Sky

 

This August millions of Americans will experience a total solar eclipse, a stunning astronomical phenomenon that reminds us of our place in the solar system. The opportunity to see a total solar eclipse in the United States is relatively rare. During the event, the Moon will completely hide the Sun along a line of shadow called the “path of totality” that crosses the United States diagonally from Oregon on the West Coast to South Carolina on the East Coast. Anyone viewing the eclipse from inside the “path of totality” will see the Sun vanish behind the Moon.  From Tucson, we’ll see the Moon cover 60 percent of the face of the Sun, a partial solar eclipse that will appear as a crescent Sun.  In preparation for the event, Flandrau will host a Solar Eclipse Weekend on August 19 & 20, then a Solar Eclipse Viewing Event on Monday, August 21.

Please note: Monday, August 21 is the first day of classes for the fall semester at U of A, so parking will be limited and traffic will be heavy. Flandrau is a short walk from the Cherry Avenue stop on Tucson’s Sun Link Streetcar line.

Here in Tucson, the Moon begins to cross the Sun at 9:16am on Monday, August 21, and the maximum eclipse will take place at 10:36am. Although eclipses in general are not rare, it is rare for the path of totality to cross the United States, and even for a partial eclipse of this magnitude to be visible from Tucson. The next total solar eclipse that will be visible from anywhere in the continental United States will not take place until 2024.

Solar Eclipse Weekend
Friday, August 18. 9am to 10pm
Saturday, August 19. 10am to 10pm
Sunday, August 20. 12noon to 5pm

Flandrau will be the perfect place to prepare for the main event. Over the weekend leading up to the eclipse, we’ll have special planetarium shows from Friday through Sunday that will answer all your eclipse questions: What is a solar eclipse? How often do they happen? How do we view them safely?

For kids and families, we’ll have “mini-talks” about the solar eclipse after kid-friendly planetarium shows. For families and adults, we’ll have special live shows dedicated to eclipse science called “Partial Eclipse of the Tucson Sky,” delivered by our talented planetarium operators. The show schedule is included below.

Before or after a planetarium show visitors can enjoy eclipse activities that are fun for the whole family. One great way to view a solar eclipse is a Pinhole Viewer Box. During Solar Eclipse Weekend, we’ll have all the supplies and instructions you need to build your own Pinhole Viewer and decorate it with cool colors and designs. We’ll also have handouts that show the map of the “path of totality” and explain the eclipse and how to view it safely. Eclipse activities will be available during regular hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

One of the best ways to safely see the eclipse is by using solar viewing glasses. We have them for sale at Flandrau right now ($5 per pair), and they will continue to be available for purchase right up to, and during, the eclipse event.

While you’re here, we also encourage you to see the new gallery of Mars images featured in the exhibit HiRISE: Eye In The Martian Sky. A selection of incredible high-resolution images taken by the powerful HiRISE camera that orbits the red planet, these captivating photos show the vast diversity of Martian surface features with stunning texture and color. The University of Arizona built the camera, and every image from HiRISE is sent first to U of A for processing. These photos of the Martian surface are like nothing you’ve ever seen before!

Solar Eclipse Viewing Event
Monday, August 21. 9am to 12noon.

In collaboration with the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab, the UA’s Steward Observatory, and the UA College of Optical Sciences, Flandrau will host a Solar Eclipse Viewing Event on the UA Mall in front of Flandrau. Solar telescopes and information about the eclipse will be available for the public. In addition, Spanish-speaking graduate students from the astronomy program at the UA’s Steward Observatory will be available to help guide the viewing experience and understand the eclipse.

On the morning of the eclipse, admission to Flandrau will be free to the public from 9am to 12noon.

Here in Tucson, the eclipse begins at 9:16am, peaks at 10:36am, and finishes completely at 12:03pm.

Come join us to see this rare spectacle, a solar eclipse!

Please remember:

  • Disclaimer: NEVER look at the Sun without proper solar viewing glasses or filters!
  • Solar viewing glasses can be purchased at Flandrau.
  • This will also be the first day of classes at UA so parking will be limited and traffic will be heavy. Flandrau is a short walk from Tucson’s Sun Link Streetcar line.