Solar Eclipse: August 21, 2017

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the continental United States from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. The last time a total eclipse crossed the United States from sea to sea was June 8, 1918. The 2017 eclipse in either total or partial phase can be seen by over 500 million people in North and South America, Europe, and Africa. In the U.S., millions will gather along a tiny ribbon less than 100 miles wide to see totality, the complete blocking out of the sun by the Moon which will reveal the solar corona. The rest of the entire country will be able to see a partial eclipse. It is also truly an historic event and a wonderful opportunity to view one of nature's most stunning  displays. (from


Is the Department of Physics and Astronomy hosting any events?

All of us will be gone for the eclipse, heading to various locations in the path of totality, so unfortunately we will not be hosting any events in the Missoula area.  According to our own Dr. Nate McCrady, on a scale of 1-10, the opportunity to see a total solar eclipse within a 4 hour drive from Missoula is a once in a lifetime event that ranks around 2500!  

If you do choose to travel, please note that obtaining accommodations in the totality path near us is nearly impossible, and has been for some time.  

What will we see in Missoula?

In Missoula, we will see a partial solar eclipse (92% obscuration).  Start to end time will be from 10:15 am to 12:52 pm with maximum eclipse at 11:31 am.  

VERY IMPORTANT!!!  Do not look at the sun directly without special-purpose solar filters.  NASA's Safety page has lots of good tips including certified manufacturers that offer eclipse glasses available on Amazon, and instrcutions for making pinhole projectors.

Eclipse path maps, activities, and other good information

Nasa's Total Solar Eclipse Interactive Map

Xavier Jubier's 2017 Total Eclipse Interactive Google Map

Great American Eclipse - check out the eclipse visitors and traffic section to get a an idea of how many people are traveling to see the eclipse!

NASA Eclipse Activities  Watch out can get immersed in NASA's pages for a long time!    

NASA Education Resources

NASA will also be livestreaming the eclipse, so if you can't make it to totality, you can watch it on the web or on NASA TV!