The Smithsonian and the Solar Eclipse

The Smithsonian has a history of eclipse-ready public programming! How the Smithsonian has worked with the public in 1972, and today, to help visitors view eclipses safely.

On August 21, 2017 the stars will, quite literally, align. In spots throughout the United States, a total eclipse will be visible, meaning that the moon will pass between the sun and Earth, completely covering the sun. Even if you are not in the path of totality, people throughout North and South America can see a partial eclipse.  

The Smithsonian has a variety of ways for you to learn more about the eclipse, and tips for viewing it:

The Smithsonian has a history of eclipse-ready public programming. In 1972, in anticipation of an eclipse in July, Smithsonian staffers, equipment in hand, headed to the National Mall to demonstrate to visitors how to watch the eclipse safely. 

A demonstration of how to safely watch an eclipse, July 1972. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image Number SIA Acc. 11-009 [72-6685-07].

A demonstration of how to safely watch an eclipse, July 1972. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image Number SIA Acc. 11-009 [72-6686-14A].

A demonstration of how to safely watch an eclipse, July 1972. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image Number SIA Acc. 11-009 [72-6685-29].

A demonstration of how to safely watch an eclipse, July 1972. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image Number SIA Acc. 11-009 [72-6685-27].

A demonstration of how to safely watch an eclipse, July 1972. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image Number SIA Acc. 11-009 [72-6686-15A].

A demonstration of how to safely watch an eclipse, July 1972. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image Number SIA Acc. 11-009 [72-6685-19].

A demonstration of how to safely watch an eclipse, July 1972. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image Number SIA Acc. 11-009 [72-6685-16].

A demonstration of how to safely watch an eclipse, July 1972. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image Number SIA Acc. 11-009 [72-6685-05].

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