Solar Eclipse

August 21, 2017

Solar eclipses happen every year, but it’s been a while since the people of Acadiana have seen a nice one. That ends August 21 (if the weather cooperates, of course)! Although the eclipse will be partial in Acadiana, it will be total in some other parts of the country, the first total eclipse visible anywhere in the continental United States since 1979.

In Lafayette the partial eclipse will start shortly before noon, reach maximum about 1:25 p.m., and end shortly before 3:00 p.m. Weather permitting, the planetarium will have safe solar telescopes for free public eclipse viewing in Parc Sans Souci beside the Museum. What a great way to spend your lunch time! We’ll even provide free, safe eclipse viewing glasses to the first 200 people who come to the viewing, courtesy of NASA and the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, California! If you can’t make it to the park, we’ll live stream the eclipse from the Lafayette Science Museum Observatory. To help you get ready, there will be planetarium programs about the eclipse beginning in June and special eclipse outreach programs at the Iberia Parish Library and four branches of the Lafayette Public Library.

Important Safety information about Eclipse Viewing Glasses

There are numerous reports of a growing black market in eclipse viewing glasses including not only sales at inflated prices but also the sale of eclipse glasses that are actually unsafe! If you have eclipse glasses, check their frames to see that they meet the safety standard ISO 12312-2 or ISO 12312-2:2015. If your eclipse glasses do not meet this standard, do not use them! Because of recent claims that some manufacturers are placing claims of compliance on eclipse glasses that in fact do not comply (or have not been tested), also be sure that your compliant eclipse glasses are manufactured by one of the vendors on this list from the American Astronomical Society: If you obtain free eclipse glasses from the Lafayette Science Museum or the Lafayette Public Library, they meet these standards and are safe.
We've created some handy guides to explain solar eclipses, how to observe them safely, how to make your own Solar Eclipse Viewer, and all the events we’re planning leading up to and during the eclipse:

Solar Eclipse: The Basics

Solar Eclipse: Observing Safely

Solar Eclipse: Make Your Own Viewer

Solar Eclipse: Museum Activities