August 21, 2017
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Independence Ave at 6th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20560
Observe the Solar Eclipse
For the first time in almost 100 years, a solar eclipse will be visible from the entire United States! Observers located in Washington, D.C., will see a partial eclipse, with the Moon blocking up to 82% of the Sun.
The eclipse will be visible in Washington, D.C., from 1:17 pm to 4:01 pm EDT, with maximum eclipse at 2:42 pm EDT. Throughout this time period, visitors will be able to observe the Moon gradually moving across the face of the Sun and blocking a portion of its light.
Programming at the Museum's National Mall Building:
- Safe solar telescopes (at the Observatory)
- Free eclipse glasses (at the Observatory and inside at the Welcome Desk)
- Make your own pinhole eclipse viewer (at the Observatory)
- Live view of the eclipse from Museum staff in Liberty, Missouri, broadcast on screens throughout the Museum
Programming at the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center:
- Safe solar telescopes (outside the entrance)
- Free eclipse glasses (outside the entrance and inside at the Welcome Desk)
- Make your own pinhole eclipse viewer (inside, location TBD)
Off-site programming locations, including safe solar telescopes and free eclipse glasses:
- The National Archives
- The National Zoo
- Various points along the National Mall (check back for updates)
- Live STEM in 30 broadcast of the eclipse from Liberty, Missouri, which is in the path of totality,* on Air and Space Live
- View of the eclipse from Washington, DC on the Observatory's Ustream channel
*The path of totality is the region where the Moon will completely block the Sun, producing a "total solar eclipse," for up to 2 minutes 30 seconds. Only observers located in the path of totality will experience the total solar eclipse.
Programming at the Museum before eclipse day:
- Saturday, July 8 at the National Mall Building: Your Eclipse Family Day
- Saturday, July 15 at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Your Eclipse Family Day
- At both family days you can:
- Learn about the science of eclipses
- Make your own safe solar eclipse viewer
- Plan how you'll observe the eclipse in August
- Share your experiences of past eclipses
- Learn how to photograph the eclipse from experienced astrophotographers
The Observatory is free and open to the public during posted hours, weather permitting. For weather and closure updates, check @SIObservatory or ask at the Welcome Center when you arrive at the Museum.
Accessibility: The Observatory dome and terrace are accessible via ramp or steps. Written and touchable explanatory materials are available.