8/10/2017 10:18:15 AM
A total solar eclipse. Photo by M. Druckmüller, NASA.
A total solar eclipse, one of the rare sights in nature, will be visible to millions of people across the United States on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Mississippians will have a great view as approximately 80-90 percent of the sun will be blocked over the state. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979, and the next total eclipse over the U.S. won’t be visible until 2024.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks invites you to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science for a Solar Eclipse Watch Party! Exciting solar eclipse themed activities will begin at 10:00 a.m. before the solar eclipse takes place. There will also be a live streaming NASA from 12:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. in the theater. The eclipse is scheduled to be the fullest in Jackson at 1:26 p.m. Special viewing glasses will be available until supplies run out. This event is included with your regular museum admission, which is $6 for adults, $4 for youth ages 3-18, and free for children under 3. It is FREE for Members.
The path of the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Photo by NASA.
If you are not able to make it to the museum, we encourage you to pack a picnic and watch the eclipse at one of Mississippi’s 25 State Parks (the wide-open spaces and low-light pollution are perfect for viewing).
Here are some tips that will help you have a safe and memorable eclipse viewing experience:
- It is NEVER safe to look at the sun during the eclipse. Do not look directly at the sun without approved solar-viewing devices. (Learn more about protecting your eyes during a solar eclipse).
- Be sure to get there early to beat the crowds and find a good parking spot. The total eclipse lasts only about 1-3 minutes (depending upon your location), so do not be late!
- Bring plenty of water. It can get hot during the summer, and water can be limited.
- Pack the sunscreen. Even though this event is about the sun’s rays being blocked out, you will probably spend some time waiting in the sun. Protect yourself.
- Buy a filter for your camera. Just as the partial eclipse will damage your eyes, it will also damage your camera unless you place a special solar filter over the lens. This also includes digital cameras like the one on your cell phone. No filter is needed during totality, so be sure to practice removing your solar filter quickly before the day of totality so that you are not wasting precious time.