On August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will happen over the United States. This is the first total solar eclipse seen from the continental United States since 1979. Below are links to different resources to learn more about the eclipse and where is the best location to see it. Please be aware that totality is not visible from Michigan, and as such the Abrams Planetarium will not be doing observation of the eclipse. The planetarium staff will be traveling to other parts of the U.S. in order to see this special event.
To safely view the eclipse, precautions must be taken. The following precautions are given by NASA on their eclipse viewing website safety page:
"Looking directly at the Sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse ("totality"), when the Moon entirely blocks the Sun's bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as "eclipse glasses" or handheld solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the Sun. To date three manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and hand-held solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, and Thousand Oaks Optical.
An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed Sun is pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. With your back to the Sun, look at your hands' shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the Sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse."
For more information about eclipse viewing safety, please go to the safety page at NASA's eclipse viewing website.