• June 26, 2022
 Great American Eclipse 2017: Local Events, Resources & Info

This image of the moon crossing in front of the sun was captured on Jan. 30, 2014, by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observing an eclipse from its vantage point in space. Photo courtesy NASA

Great American Eclipse 2017: Local Events, Resources & Info

On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see a total eclipse of the Sun.

Dubbed the ‘Great American Eclipse,’ even regions outside of the totality – like the Borderland – will get a view of this awesome celestial event, if the weather cooperates.  Below are local, regional and national resources for the best eclipse experience.

Totality for the U.S. starts on the west coast of Oregon at 11:16 a.m. MDT, heads southeast across the Lower 48 southeast, and exits through South Carolina at 2:49 p.m. MDT.

For more details on what to see and where, NASA has a webpage dedicated to national events and event live streams.  To view the exact path, visit the NASA interactive eclipse map.

El Paso Public Library – El Paso, Tx

11 a.m. – The three branches will hand out official eclipse viewers to visitors who attend (while supplies last). The celebration includes stories and other activities

Events and free glasses at these participating locations:

Armijo Library, 620 E. 7th Street, (915) 212-0369

Dorris Van Doren Library, 551 Red Rd., (915) 875-0700

José Cisneros Library, 1300 Hawkins, (915) 212-0450

For more information visit www.elpasolibrary.org or call the nearest participating branch.

New Mexico Museum of Space History – Alamogordo, NM

10:30 a.m. – The New Mexico Museum of Space History is planning a solar eclipse party with eye-safe ways for you and your family to view the eclipse.

The museum is offering several activities for eclipse day, including a live feed from NASA of the total solar eclipse coverage along with webcasts from other sources, a workshop to teach you to create your own eye safe pinhole solar eclipse viewer, and Education Director Dave Dooling will talk about what causes eclipses and how they helped scientists discover the true nature of the Sun.

EPCC Offers Solar Eclipse Viewing

El Paso Community College (EPCC) Transmountain campus will offer viewing of Solar Eclipse to the public.

What:                  Solar Eclipse 2017

When:                 Monday, August 21, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Where:                EPCC Transmountain campus, 9570 Gateway North | East parking lot off of Kenworthy Drive

Visuals:              Solar Eclipse, viewing public, interviews with Physics instructors and students

McDonald Observatory – Ft. Davis, Tx

With the Partial Solar Eclipse on August 21st, the Visitors Center will be altering its schedule of programs somewhat:

  • live viewing (weather permitting) of the eclipse through our filtered telescope & camera set-up will be offered from in the Visitors Center theater and direct viewing (weather permitting) with safely filtered telescopes will be offered from the Center’s courtyard areas
  • regular Daytime Programs on Monday, the 21st, will be canceled in favor of viewing the eclipse
  • a 3:00p tour of the research facilities will be offered — go to our Eclipse Day page for more information
    – due to demand, we’ve added a 10:30a tour … go to the Eclipse Day page for more details

Always practice safe viewing! The NASA website says:

It’s common sense not to stare directly at the Sun with your naked eyes or risk damaging your vision, and that advice holds true for a partially eclipsed Sun. But, only with special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can safely look directly at the Sun.

NASA recommends that people who plan to view the eclipse should check the safety authenticity of viewing glasses to ensure they meet basic proper safety viewing standards.

Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the following criteria:

  • Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
  • Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
  • Notbe used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
  • Notuse homemade filters
  • Ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones — should notbe used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially-eclipsed Sun is with a pinhole projector. With this method, sunlight streams through a small hole – such as a pencil hole in a piece of paper, or even the space between your fingers – onto a makeshift screen, such as a piece of paper or the ground. It’s important to only watch the screen, not the Sun.

Never look at the Sun through the pinhole — it is not safe.

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