Sat 8/19-Mon 8/21
On August 21st a total solar eclipse, when the moon passes between Earth and the sun, will be visible from the U.S. mainland, traveling from Oregon to South Carolina. There hasn’t been a total eclipse visible from the U.S. since 1979, and it’s been almost 100 years since one went coast to coast like this. Although Cleveland won’t be in the path of the moon’s shadow, from our location the moon will appear to cover 80 percent of the sun’s disk, and we can observe the entire partial eclipse too. So this is a rare and remarkable event.
During this rare and profound event, the Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) is holding a three-day event from Sat 8/19, culminating with the eclipse on Mon 8/21. During the weekend, guests can learn about the eclipse and how to view it safely. That’s very important: even with 80 percent of it blocked, the sun will still be very bright and bright enough to be dangerous to look at directly. GLSC wants people to be able to experience the very deep partial eclipse in Cleveland, but do so safely.
“I’m excited to see other people excited,” exudes Dante Centuori, GLsC’s scientist-in-residence. “We’ve had smaller and shorter partial eclipses a few years ago when only 20 percent of the sun was eclipsed. Both eclipses were right before sunset so it was after work and I was out in a park with my kids. It was great sharing this with strangers who had no idea this was going on and never saw something like this before! We had extra eclipse glasses, and a telescope and it was just real fun seeing everyone’s reaction.”
Leading up to the amazing solar eclipse, GLSC willl be celebrating with a whole weekend of hands-on activities, special demonstrations, simulcast eclipse coverage from around the country on NASA TV and even an outdoor sun salutations yoga session. Guests can catch a Big Science Show, get hands-on in a water workshop, learn about ultraviolet light from the sun, launch a rocket and watch the eclipse from our garage lawn.
“Typically, we try to provide a hybrid of activities that will interest guests of all ages,” says Joe Yachanin, GLSC’s director of communications. “For this weekend, we really wanted the sun and the amazing energy it provides to us on Earth to be the star of our weekend activities. Naturally, we wanted to reinforce the fun activities by highlighting things we have in our NASA Glenn Visitor Center and our partnership with NASA Glenn Research Center to add that extra layer of eclipse-specific engagement.”
Save the date…April 8, 2024 will be the next total eclipse visible from the USA…and, it will be visible in Cleveland!
“It’s kind of amazing to think that so many Americans are experiencing the same exact thing, or close to it, at the same exact time,” shares Robyn Kaltenback, public programs manager at GLSC. “While this often happens, we’re more aware of the interconnectedness of our societies. I also really enjoy and get excited when we create experiences for our guests and watch as they participate in the learning process, enjoying themselves while learning something.”
Hours are 1am-5pm Sat 8/19, 12-5pm Sun 8/20, and 10am-5pm Mon 8/21. The approximate hours for the eclipse are 1-4pm Monday, with a predicted peak time of 2:30pm.
[Written By: Kendall Embrescia-Hridel]