Eclipse 101

The last time most Americans experienced a total solar eclipse was 1991.  In 2017, an estimated 500 million people will be able to observe the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse, in partial or total form: 391 million in the U.S., 35 million in Canada, and 119 million in Mexico (plus Central America and parts of South America and northwestern Europe) .  This is a golden opportunity to observe one of nature’s most exciting splendors and to engage and educate diverse audiences in the U.S. and internationally, using a backdrop of this amazing celestial event coupled with NASA unique assets. 

Already there is great excitement and planning underway for the eclipse. A quick Google search on “eclipse 2017”, for example, yielded over 35 million hits! Numerous planning meetings are now being held within universities, K-12 institutions, museums, civic groups, and amateur astronomy clubs around the nation and abroad. Where will you be on August 21, 2017? What will you be doing for the eclipse? This website has many suggestions for safe eclipse viewing, eclipse parties, activities, and experiments you can do. 

Safety page thumbnail image link

You can experience the eclipse safely, but it is vital that you protect your eyes at all times

Eclipse: Who? What? Where? When? and How? page thumbnail image link

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun.

Eclipse Maps page thumbnail image link

Please feel free to download maps, posters, fact sheet, safety bulletin and other materials for u

Eclipse History page thumbnail image link

The earliest writings we have showing that people paid attention to eclipses in any official way

How Eclipses Work page thumbnail image link

Eclipses, whether solar or lunar, occur because of the periodic alignments of the sun, Earth, and

Eclipse Misconceptions page thumbnail image link

Humans have watched eclipses since before the dawn of written history, and during this long span of time our scientific understanding of the physical world has grown enormously. As a consequence, many of the older ideas we had about the causes and effects of total solar eclipses have been replaced by detailed physical explanations.

Eclipse Glossary page thumbnail image link

Eclipse Glossary English / Spanish / Chinese

FAQ page thumbnail image link

As we admire the rarity of a total solar eclipse, many questions come to mind that not only occur to us now, but have puzzled eclipse watchers for thousands of years.

Acknowledgments page thumbnail image link

Dear Viewer: On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the contiguous United States fo