Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

11 events in Raleigh, the Triangle to catch the 2017 summer solar eclipse

Posted August 9
Updated August 14

Total solar eclipse of March 9, 2016, in Indonesia. (Deseret Photo)

Buzz is building as we get closer to Aug. 21 when the United States will experience a solar eclipse. Parts of the country, including a strip of North Carolina, will experience a total eclipse, when it becomes dark during the day and the Sun's corona, along with some stars and planets, become visible. has a lot of information about the eclipse and how to view it. If you do, you'll want to use NASA-approved eclipse glasses to watch it safely, which you can get online or at events across the region.

In the Triangle, peak solar eclipse viewing will be around 2:45 p.m., that day. About 93 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon.

To mark the historic occasion, parks, libraries and other venues are hosting special events.

Here are 11 places in Raleigh and across the Triangle to celebrate the solar eclipse ...

(Looking for more events? Out and About has a list of rooftop parties and viewing parties at local bars and restaurants)

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, Chapel Hill

As I've written before, the planetarium will host a Solar Eclipse Party from noon to 4:30 p.m., Aug. 21. Tickets are $6 each. One pair of Solar Eclipse viewing glasses is included per ticket. The afternoon includes a short planetarium program about the solar eclipse, along with chances to view the solar eclipse or catch the live stream of the totality line, games, food trucks and more.

Wake County Public Libraries

Families are invited to Wake County library locations for solar eclipse viewing parties that start at 2 p.m., Aug. 21. Pre-registration is required for this - and some library locations already have a waiting list. But not all events are full. Solar eclipse glasses will be provided. The events are free.

Durham County Library

Public libraries in Durham also will host solar eclipse parties on the afternoon of Aug. 21. Start times vary, depending on the location. Solar eclipse glasses also are provided, but you'll need to pre-register to get your free pair.

Chapel Hill Public Library

From 1 p.m to 3 p.m., Aug. 21, the library will be live streaming NASA's Eclipse Megacast, which will provide coverage of the eclipse from 11 spacecraft, 3 NASA aircraft, 50 high-altitude balloons and astronauts on the International space Station. The library also will have a few pairs of glasses for viewing the eclipse outside. (You also can bring your own). It's free.

Duke Gardens, Durham

The gardens on the campus of Duke University will host a Solar Eclipse Celebration from noon to 5 p.m., Aug. 21 with a chance to view the partial eclipse and take part in free hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. This is a drop-in event. Visitors can stay as long as they like.

N.C. State University, Raleigh

The College of Sciences is hosting an Eclipse Day Celebration to mark the day on The Brickyard. It's 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 21. The free event includes a chance to safely view the eclipse with a telescope with a solar filter and free solar glasses; demonstrations; entertainment and more.

N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh

The downtown Raleigh museum will feature a video call from the path of totality in Sylva, N.C., with museum astrophysicist Dr. Rachel Smith. The live video link inside the Daily Planet Theater will give museum visitors the opportunity to see the Moon cover 100 percent of the sun. It runs from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Aug. 21. It's free.

Museum of Life and Science, Durham

The Durham museum will offer hands-on activities, citizen science projects, a live stream of the total eclipse and crafts for all ages, along with chances to ask an astronomer questions about what's happening. Be sure to bring your own solar eclipse glasses for safe viewing. Activities begin at 9:30 a.m., Aug. 21, and are free with admission to the museum, which is $18 for adults and $13 for kids ages 3 to 12.

Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh

Celebrate Outer Space runs all day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 21, and includes space-themed activities and, at Marbles' IMAX, the movies "Hubble 3D," "Journey to Space 3D" and "A Beautiful Planet 3D." The activities are free with admission, which is $5. Tickets to the 45-minute documentaries are also $5 this summer. The museum also will have a limited number of eclipse glasses for safe viewing.

Historic Yates Mill County Park, Raleigh

The park south of downtown Raleigh will host a free special event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 21. The park will feature solar eclipse fun facts, eclipse viewing glasses (while supplies last) and a chance to see the eclipse from the park's open field. This one is designed for all ages. Registration is not required.

N.C. State Parks

The state park system is offering a variety of opportunities to catch the eclipse, including at some parks not too far from the Triangle. Raven Rock State Park in Lillington, about an hour from Raleigh, might be the closest.


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