A Solar Eclipse

Eclipse 2017

For the first time in 100 years, a solar eclipse will cross the entire United States on August 21, 2017.

The Moon will pass between the Sun and the Earth, and its shadow will sweep across the country. Find out how you can see a solar eclipse and more with the National Air and Space Museum. See you in the shadow!

March 29, 2006 Solar Eclipse

Eclipse 101

Public Observatory

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Eclipse Stories

Eclipse 101

Your quick guide to everything you need to know about the solar eclipse. 

Lightning Lessons

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, and blocks the bright light of the Sun’s surface from view. The shadow of the Moon will fall in a small path on Earth’s surface, called the zone of totality. Learn more > 

How do you view the solar eclipse safely?

In the shadow, during the few minutes of totality, you can view the total solar eclipse without any protection. Anywhere outside that zone, view the partial solar eclipse with safe solar viewers, make a pinhole projection, or add a safe solar filter to your telescope. Learn more >

Where will you be?

Whether you are in the path of totality or not, find out how much of the eclipse you will see with this interactive map. You can also use NASA’s interactive maps to find out where you can view the solar eclipse safely.

You can find more information on NASA's 2017 Eclipse website.

Watch With Us

We have a number of events coming up where you can learn more about the solar eclipse or watch it with us.


Eclipse Stories

We're exploring all things eclipse, from historical accounts to stories from eclipse chasers. 

Advice From An Eclipse Chaser

As a volunteer at the National Air and Space Museum, I’ve been talking to visitors about astronomy for 28 years. Right now is an exciting time to be volunteering here thanks to the total solar eclipse that will happen this summer. As an astronomy enthusiast and an eclipse chaser, I have some great advice to share on how best to view the 2017 eclipse. 

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The Death of a King, End to a War, and the Solar Eclipse

The United States will play host to an extraordinary phenomenon known as a total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth.  Eclipses have occurred throughout history, and some have fascinating stories associated with them. Take the following two tales for example.

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