For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Charbonneau, 919-485-7413
Research Triangle Park, NC AUG. 17, 2017-- It’s going to be seven long years before we have a chance to see a total eclipse in the United States again, so make Monday’s celestial show an even more memorable moment by hopping onto a bus and taking full advantage of viewing opportunities in the Triangle.
Many libraries, parks and museums are planning events to celebrate the eclipse, which in the Triangle will begin about 1:15 p.m. and last about two hours, with the peak moment occurring at 2:44 p.m. In our neck of the Earth, the moon will block only 93 percent of the sun.
Don’t feel bad, though. Downtown Los Angeles will experience only a 62 percent eclipse.
Over a 70-mile-wide swath from Oregon to South Carolina, however, the moon will perfectly block the sun for about 2.5 minutes. It has been 99 years since a total solar eclipse crossed the United States.
So don’t miss a chance to make the day shine. Here are four celebrations that can be reached easily by transit:
CHAPEL HILL: Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, 250 E. Franklin St., 27514. The planetarium will host a Solar Eclipse Party from noon to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 each and include a pair of eclipse-viewing glasses. The center will offer a program about the eclipse, chances to view the eclipse or a live-stream of the totality line and games and food trucks.
DURHAM: Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson St., 27708. The gardens are planning a Solar Eclipse Celebration from noon to 5 p.m. that will include free hands-on activities and observation stations to help visitors view the eclipse safely. Glasses will be free as long as they last.
RALEIGH: N.C. State University, 3229 Broughton Hall, 27695. The College of Sciences is hosting an Eclipse Day Celebration on The Brickyard from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Attendees can safely view the eclipse with a telescope with a solar filter or use free solar glasses.
RALEIGH: Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E. Hargett St., 27601: The museum’s Celebrate Outer Space event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes space-themed activities, which are free with a $5 admission ticket. Tickets to the museum’s IMAX theater showings of “Hubble 3D,” “Journey to Space 3D” and “A Beautiful Planet 3D” also are $5 each. Visitors need to take their own safe eclipse-viewing glasses.
And you don’t have to watch from your corner of the Triangle. GoTriangle runs Routes 400 and 405 between Durham and Chapel Hill, Route 301 between Cary and Raleigh and two express routes: the DRX between Raleigh and Durham and the CRX between Raleigh and Chapel Hill. Travel to another city and make a day of it.
Other venues offering eclipse-watching festivities include most public libraries, the Museum of Life and Science in Durham and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and Historic Yates Mill County Park in Raleigh.
To find the route and times that make the most sense for you, please use the trip planner at gotriangle.org.
The next total eclipse in the United States won’t occur until April 8, 2024. NASA’s website at nasa.gov has an abundance of information about the phenomena. (photo courtesy of NASA)