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Members enjoy FREE James S. McDonnell Planetarium show tickets with EVERY visit!.

Great American Total Solar Eclipse

Certified Eclipse Glasses Availability: We are sold out of eclipse glasses in our gift shops.

Join us at the Science Center from 10 am to 3 pm for the Total Solar Eclipse! We will have the following activities:

  • Live music from Johnny Chase
  • Tables for vendors who will have a variety of activities for all ages. Vendors include:
    • Allied Integrated Marketing
    • Children’s Hospital
    • Snapology
    • Forest Park Forever
    • Coca-Cola
    • Clementine’s Ice Cream
  • Science Center educators will also have solar spotting and pinhole viewer activities.
  • SSA will be selling pulled pork and pulled beef sandwiches and beverages.
  • 200 children will be attending via school field trips.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for solar eclipse content! We will have coverage of the total solar eclipse from our team in Festus, MO and coverage from the partial eclipse at our Eclipse Day Celebration at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium.

View our eclipse passport and learn how to document your experiences during the solar eclipse!

Prepare yourself for an astronomical event 575 years in the making. Visit the James S. McDonnell Planetarium and learn about the 2017 Great American Total Solar Eclipse occurring on August 21, 2017. Explore how the sun, Earth and moon behave to cause night and day, the seasons, and of course, how they can align just right to create an eclipse.

The Saint Louis Science Center is providing learning opportunities leading up to and the day of the total solar eclipse that prepare and inform visitors about this exciting event. We will also have an Eclipse Day Celebration on the day of the event as our Planetarium educators will narrate the events in the sky and provide fun activities for all ages.


Ongoing Educational Opportunities

SOLD OUT Notice: Live Sky: Eclipse Shows on Saturday, Aug. 19 and Sunday, Aug. 20 are SOLD OUT. We have tickets available for Monday, Aug. 21 at 10:30 am and 11:30 am and those shows include one pair of certified eclipse glasses per ticket.

Come discover this amazing phenomena with us at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium and make sure you stay in the dark on August 21, 2017. Explore how three well known objects, the Sun, Earth and Moon, behave to cause night, day, the seasons, and of course how they can align just right to create an eclipse.

Know where you need to be to see the eclipse and how to safely view this rare celestial event. During this unique premium Planetarium experience, you will learn about these ideas and more in an interactive star show, as well as in hands-on breakout mini-workshops with our engaging educators.

Buy your tickets to this show!

Safe solar observing demonstrations ensure that visitors know how to safely observe the sun with specialty eye instruments, and why it is unsafe to look at the sun without specialty eye instruments. Safe Solar Observing is experienced indoors, but also outdoors on every third Saturday of the month for Solar Saturdays.

Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality

Eclipse glasses

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed, or partially eclipsed, sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses.”

You can also use hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun, they do not block enough of the suns rays and your eyes can easily be injured. Refer to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers page for a list of manufacturers and authorized dealers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products.

Steps to properly put your eclipse glasses on to view the sun
Following these 4 simple steps will ensure that you don’t look at the sun while you put on your certified eclipse glasses.

1. Look down at your toes
2. Put on your certified eclipse glasses
3. It is now safe to look at the sun
4. To take them off, look down at your toes again and take off your eclipse glasses

For more information on the Eclipse Glasses, how to use them and the exhibit, please check out this video from Show Me St. Louis featuring our own Anna Green, the Planetarium Manager here at the Saint Louis Science Center.

Solar Telescopes and Sun Spotters will be located outside the James S. McDonnell Planetarium, and occasionally in GROW, on every third Saturday of the month for Solar Saturdays. The Solar Telescopes and Sun Spotters will also be available on select days (weather permitting). Call 314.289.4400 for more information.

Lead up to the Great American Eclipse on Monday, August 21 with a weekend of space exploration at the Science Center. Hear from local astronomers and planetary scientists about how eclipses happen and how you can view them safely. Learn what NASA and other space initiatives are studying, and see the night sky at high noon in the James S. McDonnell Planetarium.

View the full schedule!

On August 19, grab your sweetheart, grab your friends, and get ready to enjoy a date night under the stars of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. Watch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and learn all about the upcoming Great American Total Solar Eclipse happening just two days later!

Doors open at 6:30pm. Event begins at 7pm. This is a 21 and older event. Seating is limited. Reservations are encouraged. For more information, call 314-289-4424 or you can buy tickets online right now!

Parking is free and located at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. To make your evening as comfy as possible, feel free to bring pillows and blankets.

A limited number of floor mats will also be available. This is a dark night sky presentation, so it is important to arrive prior to the 7 pm event start time.

Learn more by viewing Star Dates information!

Join us at the Saint Louis Science Center’s James S. McDonnell Planetarium from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm to celebrate the Solar Eclipse! We’ll have demonstrations, solar observing, food, live music, and fun to celebrate the solar eclipse on August 21. Planetarium educators will narrate what is happening during the eclipse. The Science Center is in the path of partiality meaning we will see over 99% of the eclipse.

Event highlights include:

  • Live music from Johnny Chase
  • Food and Drinks
  • Clementine’s Ice Cream
  • Fun educational activities, including making pinhole viewers
  • Giveaways
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