FLINT — Longway Planetarium is Mid-Michigan’s premier resource foreclipse information. On Aug. 21, an eclipse of the sun will be viewable from the continental United States, prompting its popular name, The Great American Eclipse. In order to safely observe the eclipse from Michigan, you will need to use eye protection specifically made to view the eclipse, or use various methods to project an image of the sun.
Do not look directly at the sun without proper eye protection, as eye damage could result. Eclipse glasses, specifically made to view the eclipse, are available for $1 each in the Longway Planetarium gift shop. A brand new show, Eclipse: The Sun Revealed, is showing daily at 2:30 pm and contains information on how to view the eclipse safely, as well as methods to project the sun’s image for indirect viewing.
This summer’s solar eclipse will carve out a “path of totality”—where the view of the sun is completely covered by the moon—from Oregon to South Carolina. In that path, during totality, you can safely look at the eclipse without eye protection. However, in Mid-Michigan, the moon will block roughly 83% of the sun at its greatest point, which is called a partial eclipse. The moon will start to block the sun around 1:02 pm, reaching fullest coverage around 2:25 pm. The eclipse will end at 3:45 pm.
Eclipse Glasses: Eclipse glasses are available for $1 each in the Longway Planetarium gift shop. In Michigan, the eclipse will never be safe to view with the naked eye. Appropriate eyewear must be used, and regular sunglasses are not sufficient.
Get the most accurate information available about eclipse science in a new show, Eclipse: The Sun Revealed, showing daily at 2:30 pm. This immersive fulldome show discusses the geometry that gives us eclipses and teaches how to safely view an eclipse. Audiences will hear a gripping firsthand account of one eclipse chaser’s experience during a total solar eclipse. For more information about the show and to buy tickets visit Longway.org.
Longway Planetarium’s live star talk, Skies Over Michigan, also includes information about this summer’s solar eclipse. While this show runs yearround, Staff Astronomers frequently update these live presentations with relevant information about what’s visible in the night sky based on the time of year, and of course, special astronomical events like the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.
Longway Planetarium invites everyone to the campus of the Flint Cultural Center to observe the eclipse on August 21, 2017. A day-long celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring solar telescope observing, outdoor hands-on activities, and livestreams of the total eclipse projected on the dome from locations on the path of totality across the country. Food will be available for purchase, and Eclipse: The Sun Revealed will show at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. at regular ticket prices: $6 adults, $4 seniors age 60 and over, and $4 youth ages 2-11. — G.G.