Middle Tennessee’s Total Solar Eclipse
Where will you be the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 21, 2017?
We hope you’re outside witnessing the rare total solar eclipse that will sweep across the United States, making a brief appearance right here in parts of Middle Tennessee! Don’t miss this amazing experience… it doesn’t happen again in our area for more than 500 years!
Make plans to come to the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event with special activities, including viewing stations, educational activities and more.
Special Activities (included with admission): Aug. 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.:
- Make your own solar eclipse model
- Create your own pinhole viewer
- Eclipse chalk art
- Learn how eclipses work through a hands-on demo
Solar viewing glasses will be available with paid admission, while supplies last.
Total Solar Eclipse times in Murfreesboro, TN:
Beginning of Partial Eclipse: 11:59 a.m.
Totality: 1:29 p.m. (lasts ~1 minute)
End of Partial Eclipse: 2:55 p.m.
About Solar Eclipses
During a total solar eclipse, the Sun, Moon and Earth are perfectly aligned. Only visible from a relatively small area on the Earth’s surface, “totality” can only be seen if the Moon’s shadow completely blocks the Sun (approximately 1-2 minutes), making the sky go dark in the middle of the day! Many areas in Middle Tennessee will experience totality, including Murfreesboro, Nashville, Clarksville and Gallatin. Click here to see a map showing where totality will happen (shaded area of the map).
If you’re not in the shaded area, you’ll only experience a partial solar eclipse. This occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth are not perfectly aligned and the Moon doesn’t completely cover the Sun’s surface. It will look like the Moon has taken a bite out of the Sun.
Everyone in the lower 48 states will experience at least a partial eclipse on Aug. 21. However, scientists and eclipse-chasers strongly recommend traveling to an area that will be covered by the total solar eclipse. It’s an experience that’s literally “night and day” from a partial eclipse!
More info from NASA at eclipse2017.nasa.gov
Safety Tips for Viewing a Solar Eclipse
It is never safe to look directly at the Sun without eye protection, except during the brief moment when the Moon COMPLETELY covers the disk of the Sun during a total solar eclipse!
During the partial phases of a solar eclipse, you MUST use proper viewing equipment or eye protection when looking at the Sun.
Here are some ways you can safely view the solar eclipse:
Solar filter glasses: Similar to welder’s glass, the special lenses in these glasses block all of the harmful light waves. Make sure your glasses don’t have any holes in them before using.
Solar telescopes: Get a close-up view of the sun through these specially made telescopes that filter out the damaging light rays. You can even see some surface detail, including sun spots and solar prominences.
Pinhole projectors: You can make your own pinhole projector by poking a small hole in a large piece of paper or cardboard. Or cut a larger square in the cardboard, tape a piece of aluminum foil over it, then poke a hole in the foil. Do not look through the hole towards the Sun! Instead, hold it so the Sun shines through the hole onto the ground or on another piece of white paper.
Trees: Watch the shadows on the ground from the tree leaves to see the crescent shape as the Moon moves across the Sun.
WARNING: It is not safe to use sunglasses, smoked/tinted glass or dark camera lenses to view the Sun!