Where to watch. Three great Colorado solar eclipse watch parties.
Sure, Mondays are generally known for being the least popular day of the week — with absolutely nothing awesome happening. But not on Aug. 21. Oh, no. All of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Some will even see a total solar eclipse.
During the solar eclipse, the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s atmosphere — known as the corona — and will be seen from Oregon all the way to South Carolina. The eclipse in Denver will begin at 10:23 a.m. and finish at 1:14 p.m. Metro Denver’s darkest moment — about 92 percent of the sun obscured — will hit around 11:47 a.m.
In NON-NASA lingo? Colorado observers will get a pretty rad look at this astronomical phenomenon. If you can’t travel to Wyoming or Nebraska to get a glimpse of the full eclipse, have no fear — there will still be some great spots in our fine state to see the moon covering a pretty large part of the sun’s disk.
Here’s a list of some places to put on your handy safety glasses and take in the glory that is the eclipse:
The Great American Eclipse 2017
Location: Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver
When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: Free with general admission
There will be all sorts of eclipse-oriented happenings going on throughout the day. The museum will be handing out a limited number of safety glasses on a first-come, first-serve basis. Or you can buy a pair in the gift shop for $2.99 when you arrive.
The safe solar-scope viewing will be held at Boettcher Plaza from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Families will also love the Eclipsercise in Studios 102 and 103, where you recreate the movements of the moon and Earth with your bodies to help kids understand what is happening during the solar eclipse. Space Odyssey will also livestream NASA with various eclipse-themed activities throughout the day.
Fiske Planetarium Solar Telescopes
Location: 2414 Regent Drive, Boulder
Website: colorado.edu/ fiske/eclipse
Every state (except Alaska and Hawaii) will have at least 75 percent of the sun covered by the moon during the solar eclipse. Even though Colorado won’t see the full eclipse, Doug Duncan, astronomer and Fiske Planetarium director, says watching a partial eclipse is still interesting. But it’s important to protect your eyes. You must wear eclipse glasses to safely watch the partial eclipse. You can pick up a pair at Mcguckin Hardware, Fiske Planetarium and the CU Bookstore.
Most of the staff from Fiske Planetarium will be off-site viewing the full eclipse. However, they will have a few solar telescopes on the lawn outside the Fiske Planetarium front doors staffed by astronomers. Side note: Aug. 21 is move-in day on the Boulder campus, so parking will be extremely limited.
Solar Eclipse Party at Space Foundation Discovery Center
Location: 4425 Arrowswest Drive, Colorado Springs When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Website: discoverspace.org
Cost: Event included in regular Discovery Center admission
The Space Foundation Discovery Center is hosting a viewing party with telescopes, tubes and boxes for the public to enjoy for the day. Live feeds will be shown from different U.S. total solar eclipse locations. Guests can also purchase solar viewing glasses for $3 each, or two for $5. The viewing glasses are ISO certified and recommended by NASA. Families will also enjoy building an eclipse viewing take-home craft or watching a planetarium show on the Discovery Center’s new inflatable planetarium.
In Colorado Springs, the sun will be about 89 percent obscured at its darkest.
A total solar eclipse casts Varanasi, India, in a shadow on July 22, 2009. The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century pitched a swath of Asia from India to China into near darkness as millions gathered to watch the phenomenon.