Get ready for the eclipse! “Eclipse-mania” is taking over much of the United States as the country gets ready for the first total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017! This one is going coast-to-coast across the continental U.S. for the first time in nearly 100 years. While Northern Virginia is not directly in the “path of totality” to experience near-total darkness, we still will experience a strong partial eclipse unlike any in a long time.
Several local organizations and county parks are hosting events for the occasion, with educational sessions on the science of it all. One of the biggest ones is coming up this Saturday, July 15, at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly. At this free event, guests can:
- Learn about the science of eclipses
- Make your own safe solar eclipse viewer
- Plan how you’ll observe the event in August
- Share your experiences of past eclipses
- Learn how to photograph the eclipse from experienced astrophotographers
There will be dozens of eclipse-themed activities all day long (10 am to 3 pm). Special timed presentations include Eclipsapalooza, Your Eclipse: How Can You be Ready for the Big Day?, and a Chromatics Performance featuring astronomy-themed music. You can see the full schedule on the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center site. Admission is free for all guests, and parking is $15. You can learn more about the eclipse on our special post, and see other upcoming local events in honor of Eclipse 2017!