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Science and Mathematics Education Institute (SMEI)
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Custer Hall 241
Phone: 785-628-5449

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Science and Mathematics Education Institute

Solar Eclipse 2017

Solar Eclipse 08-21-17

The Solar Eclipse Experience

A Guide to Viewing the Solar Eclipse

There was an eclipse of the Sun visible throughout the U.S. on Monday, August 21, 2017.

The eclipse was expected to be on a narrow path, only 60 to 70 miles wide, stretching from a beach in Oregon to the barrier islands off the coast of South Carolina. The rest of the U.S. (and Canada and Mexico) will see a partial eclipse; this free science lesson in the sky will be visible to an estimated 500 million people.


The following new materials were relevant for the eclipse:

1) Thanks to a grant from the Moore Foundation and Google, 2 million free eclipse-viewing glasses will be distributed nationwide through public libraries. Libraries who register are receiving packages of glasses and a 36-page color booklet with information about the eclipse, safe viewing, and whom they can partner with to do outreach events. You can find a list of participating libraries at: And you can download your own copy of the booklet at:

2) A handy free app, called TOTALITY, for finding eclipse circumstances at your location and learning more about the August eclipse, is now available for Apple products at: A free Android version will be ready in a few weeks. This is being sponsored by astronomer Jeff Bennett's educational organization, Big Kids Science.

3) NSTA Press has just published a children's book by Dennis Schatz and me about eclipses, called When the Sun Goes Dark. It's a story-based, hands-on activity approach to understanding eclipses and viewing them safely. We hope it's a useful book for your school library, as well as for families with kids ages 8 - 13. You can see more information about it and some early reviews at:

















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