Celebrate the 2017 solar eclipse EcoTarium-style! From "Solar Science Discovery" programs and planetarium demonstrations to opportunities to safely view the partial eclipse (weather dependent), we’ll make learning about the science of eclipses interactive and fun. While you are here, grab a snack, meet Star Wars characters from the 501st New England Garrison, and join us for our Peak Partial Eclipse Party during the half hour when the sun is most obscured by the moon!
A solar eclipse occurs when the passage of the moon between the sun and the earth totally or partially obscures the sun. On Monday, August 21, Worcester will experience a partial solar eclipse. Meanwhile, a diagonal pathway across the country will experience a total solar eclipse, resulting in up to 2 minutes of “daytime darkness.” It will be the first total solar eclipse on American soil since 1991, the first on the mainland since 1979, and the first to sweep across the entire country since 1918! People from all over the world are expected to journey to the path of “totality” to view the event. Though Worcester won’t experience “daytime darkness,” the sun will be roughly 64% obscured by the moon and take on a crescent shape.
Join us for a local opportunity to celebrate this exciting national event!
Program and Activity Schedule and Information:
12:00-2:30 & 3:00-4:00 – A Taste of Totality: Eclipse Imagery from Across the Country, Classroom B
Experience totality from the comfort of your home state! Witness this exciting event through the eyes of professional and hobbyist astronomers who are sharing eclipse imagery from their many positions along the path of totality.
12:15, 1:15 & 3:15 – Solar Perspectives, Secrets of the Forest
The sun is 400 times bigger than the moon. So how does our tiny moon cover up the huge sun during a total eclipse? We'll use everyday objects and a little imagination to learn how distance and size play tricks on our eyes.
12:30-2:30 – Star Wars Characters from the 501st New England Garrison, Throughout Museum and Grounds
Stormtroopers and Jedi are landing at the EcoTarium for our Solar Eclipse Celebration! Come dressed as your favorite character and meet members of the 501st New England Garrison!
12:30, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 3:00 & 3:30 – Our Sun: A Not-So-Far Star, Planetarium
Take a journey through space and experience the wonder of our closest star as we learn what our sun is made of, see where it came from, and watch how objects in space line up during a rare solar eclipse.
12:45 & 1:45 – Shadow Science, Secrets of the Forest
What's as big as a dinosaur but weighs nothing? A shadow! As the moon's shadow falls across the country during the eclipse, we'll experiment with light and dark, and discover what makes shadows different shapes, sizes, and even different colors.
1:30-2:30 & 3:00-4:00 – Telescope Viewing, Sundial Plaza & Norton Observatory (first come, first served, weather dependent)
View the eclipse in exciting detail through a specially-equipped telescope! Learn about the many ways to safely observe the sun and look for sunspots and flares as the moon slides across the view! Looking for more? Head up the hill for a special opportunity to check out our largest working telescope, housed in our own Norton Observatory!
2:30 – Peak Partial Eclipse Party! Sundial Plaza
Join us for a special stamp dedication ceremony by the United States Post Office for the Total Eclipse of the Sun Stamp – the first U.S. stamp to use thermochromic ink, which reacts to the heat of your touch! Then, we’ll don our solar viewing glasses (provided at the event), gaze up at the sun, and count down to the moment when the partial eclipse is at its peak. After the countdown, dance with us to our sun-themed playlist!
Additional Event Information:
Eclipse Glasses | Sundial Plaza
Safety first! Visit the Sundial Plaza to get a pair of eclipse glasses that are safe for direct solar viewing for each member of your group. It is extremely important to wear safe, certified eye protection when viewing the eclipse!
Eclipse glasses are free for ticket holders during this event.
Explorer Express Train | Train Station
The Explorer Express Train will be running during our Solar Science Celebration! Train rides will be ongoing with a scheduled break from 2:30-3:00. Please note the last run for the day will be at 3:30.
Tickets: $3.00 per person/$2.00 for EcoTarium members. Tickets are not stamped for any particular time; train seats are filled first come, first served, for each departure.
Food Trucks | Sundial Plaza
EcoTarium Museum Shop | Upper Level
Offering a selection of astronomy related items, science kits, books and gifts for all ages. EcoTarium Members receive 10% off all purchases.
Listen to Our Radio Spot!
This event is sold out! Tickets will not be sold at the gate during the event. Entry into the museum will be restricted to those individuals who present valid tickets when they arrive.
Safety First: It is important to wear safe, certified eye protection when viewing the eclipse. For this reason, we will distribute eclipse glasses that are safe for direct solar viewing to all individuals at our event. (All glasses will meet ISO certification standards for eclipse glasses.)