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Get ready to witness a celestial event that will not be viewable in Michigan again until 2099!

The Institute will be holding a viewing party for the partial solar eclipse on Monday, April 8 and you’re invited. Join our astronomers and fellow celestial enthusiasts for a viewing celebration with a state-of-the-art telescope, astronomy-themed activities, and more!

Indoor astronomy-themed activities will be available with the purchase of general admission.

The Moon will begin to pass in front of the Sun at 1:58pm, reaching its maximum at approximately 3:14pm, darkening our skies.

For clear and safe observation of the event, special eclipse-viewing glasses will be available for purchase for $5 each at our Science Shop.

Hands-on activities include:

  • Why an Eclipse? Grab a ball and investigate what happens in a partial, annular, and total solar eclipse.
  • Near and Far: Experiment to see how the tiny Moon can block the Sun.
  • Spotting Craters: The Moon is covered by craters, but when is the best time for us to see them? Use a flashlight to discover the unexpected answer, and then dig deeper by making some craters of your own!
  • Sun’s Corona: Usually hidden by the brightness of the Sun, the corona, the outermost part of the Sun’s atmosphere, is vividly visible during a solar eclipse. Make your own eclipse corona to take home!
  • UV Beads: Experiment with UV-sensitive beads to see where this type of invisible sunlight is lurking, and what you can do to protect yourself from it. And you’ll get to make a UV bead bracelet to take home!
  • How Big? How Far? How Hot? Challenge your knowledge of space objects with this fun and family-friendly sorting game.

After experiencing this fascinating celestial event, discover how Galileo’s fearless work in science, physics, and astronomy has shaped our modern world, and ultimately paved the way for today’s space travel. This family-friendly exhibit will immerse guests in hands-on experiments that reveal the secrets behind Galileo’s groundbreaking science to bring his story to life.

Tickets to the Galileo exhibit can be purchased at the front desk upon arrival and range in price from $5 - $8 per person.

Additionally, Michigan Sky Tonight will be shown at the Acheson Planetarium at 11:30am and 12:30pm. Enjoy a live-narrated program reflecting the latest events in Michigan’s night sky and other cosmic happenings.

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be purchased at the front desk upon arrival.

In the event of inclement weather, or for conditions conducive to poor viewing of the eclipse, the event will be moved to an indoor format. A live broadcast of the total solar eclipse will be viewable in our auditorium and other locations throughout the museum.