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The Great American Eclipse

Unfortunately, the Fleet Science Center is OUT of eclipse glasses. We sold thousands over the last several weeks, and we had pre-ordered a shipment that was scheduled to arrive this week. We're sorry to share that the manufacturer contacted us today to let us know that they were unable to fill our pre-order, and we will not be receiving the shipment. We have exhausted all of our resources—all of our suppliers are out of stock. Please accept our apologies.

We invite you to please attend our viewing event on Monday, where we'll have multiple safe-viewing options to share. More information is below.

On Monday, August 21, 2017, The Great American Eclipse will occur. In San Diego, it will be visible from 9:07 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. While totality will be visible from other parts of the country, in San Diego we will only see a partial eclipse. It will reach its maximum point of visibility in San Diego at 10:23 a.m. We won't see another solar eclipse in San Diego until 2023, so don't miss this one!

Come to the Fleet to learn more about The Great American Eclipse and to safely view it! We have multiple events planned leading up to the eclipse, as well as an Eclipse-Viewing Event on August 21.

Safety First!

It is not safe to look at the sun, even during a partial eclipse. Ordinary sunglasses will not provide sufficient eye protection. You cannot safely view the eclipse through your phone’s camera, binoculars or other devices without a special ISO-certified filter (which is not the same as an Instagram filter!). More information about safe viewing is available here: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety. The Fleet will provide multiple safe-viewing options on August 21. Read on for more information!

Eclipse-Viewing Event

On Monday, August 21, come to the Fleet to safely view the eclipse! This FREE outdoor event begins at 9 a.m. and includes:

  • Free eclipse viewing from the Plaza in front of the Fleet Science Center.
  • Ask an Astronomer—we'll have two astronomers, including our resident astronomer, Dr. Lisa Will, to answer your eclipse and space questions.
  • Pinhole Projectors—we'll provide the supplies and instructions and you can make your own simple object that will project the eclipse.
  • Visualizing the Eclipse—get a feel for eclipses with a tactile, Braille guide to the eclipse, courtesy of NASA.
  • Galactic Education—learn more about the eclipse, discover facts about the Sun, investigate clouds, explore the orbits of planets and more! Activities courtesy of the National Informal STEM Education Network's Explore Science: Earth and Space kit.
  • San Diego Astronomy Association—members of the association will share their telescopes with solar filters and their sun projector with you!
  • USPS Eclipse Stamp—see the postal service's interactive commemorative eclipse stamp, available for purchase.

No tickets are needed for the Eclipse Viewing Event on the Plaza. Our cafe, Craveology, will be open at 8 a.m. for your morning latte, croissant or smoothie needs! The North Star Science Store will open at 8 a.m.

Though we won't see totality overhead in San Diego, we are planning to show it on the Giant Dome Screen! 

The NASA EDGE Megacast of the Eclipse

The Fleet will open at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, August 21, and will show the NASA Edge Megacast on the Giant Dome Screen beginning at 8:45 a.m. and continuing until 12:30 p.m. Regular admission applies.* Fleet visitors can come and go as they please during the Megacast, until theater capacity is reached.

In the Megacast, viewers around the world will see a wealth of images captured before, during and after the eclipse by 11 spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft, more than 50 high-altitude balloons and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station—each offering a unique vantage point for the celestial event.

Coast to coast, from Oregon to South Carolina, 14 states will—over a span of almost two hours—experience more than two minutes of darkness in the middle of the day. When the moon completely blocks the sun, day will turn into night and make visible the otherwise hidden solar corona, the sun’s atmosphere. Bright stars and planets also will become visible. 

You'll see it all in the Megacast! NASA Television will air unprecedented live video of this celestial event, along with coverage of eclipse activities in parks, libraries, stadiums, festivals and museums across the nation, and on social media.

*The Megacast on the Dome is free with paid Fleet admission. This is not a separately ticketed event, so attendees are still welcome to select an IMAX® film to view starting at 1 p.m. as part of their admission. The NASA broadcast will be shown on the Dome until 12:30 p.m., and it will continue on a large monitor in the Fleet’s theater lobby until 1:15 p.m. The Megacast is not filmed in IMAX nor in full-dome digital, so it will not cover the full dome.


Get Ready: Pre-Eclipse Events

If you want to be ultra-prepared for the eclipse, attend one of our fantastic events listed below. 

Suds & Science: Photographing the Total Solar Eclipse, July 27

Learn how to safely (and beautifully) photgraph the eclipse with the help of expert celestial photographers at this free event. Learn more.

The Sky Tonight, August 2

This special planetarium show, led live by our resident astronomer, will prepare you for the eclipse! Learn more.

Sharp Minds Lecture, August 7

Learn about the structure of the universe in this presentation by astronomer Dr. Lisa Will. Special pricing for seniors. Learn more.

Maker Hour: Creative Tools to Photograph the Eclipse, August 11

Make a head-mounted camera obscura and more in this 21+ event. Learn more.

Saturday Science Club, August 12

Learn all about the eclipse in this fun, educational program just for kids in Grades 5–8. Learn more.

Tinkerers' Club: Solar Eclipse Viewer, August 19

We'll provide the supplies and tools and help you use everyday items to build a viewer to safely see the solar eclipse, sun storms, solar flares and more. Ages 7+. Learn more. Please note: the Tinkerers' Club workshop is sold out, but you can come to the studio Saturday, 2 to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., to make simple pinhole projectors for safe eclipse viewing. Regular Fleet admission applies.

52 Weeks of Science Events, August 19 & 21

Attend a Solar Eclipse Workshop or a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party in Barrio Logan! Learn more


This will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years. After The Great American Eclipse in 2017, the next eclipse visible in San Diego will not occur until 2023. More information about the eclipse can be found here: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/san-diego and here: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/