• This event has passed.

The Great American Eclipse

  • Monday, August 21, 2017
  • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

We are out of eclipse glasses in all of our Museum stores.

If you don’t want to stand outside or weather doesn’t allow you to see the solar eclipse, you can watch from the comfort of the Daily Planet Theater! NC Museum of Natural Sciences astrophysicist Dr. Rachel Smith will join us by video call from the path of totality in Sylva, North Carolina. The view of the eclipse in Raleigh will reach 93% of total Sun coverage – still a sight to behold. But our live video link inside the Daily Planet Theater will give Museum visitors the opportunity to see the Moon cover 100% of the Sun. You’ll get to see the Chromosphere & Corona of the Sun, Baily’s beads, and the Diamond Ring effect. These visual features and many more are only visible during a total solar eclipse!

The Museum live feed will begin at 2:00pm with the full eclipse in Sylva occurring at 2:36pm (maximum coverage in Raleigh is at 2:44pm). Seating is available on all three floors of the Nature Research Center and is first-come, first-served. Standing room is also available. There is no fee or registration required. You can also check out our Livestream Eclipse Page from home.

Eclipse Times

Sylva, NC Raleigh, NC
Partial Begins 1:06:55pm 1:16:48pm
Maximum Begins 2:35:51pm
Maximum* 2:36:43pm 2:44:50pm
Maximum Ends 2:37:35pm
Partial Ends 4:00:49pm 4:06:06pm

*In Raleigh, the Moon will cover 93% of the Sun. Sylva, NC is in the path of totality, where coverage will be 100%.

All times listed are in Eastern Standard Time.

Stay safe! Do not look directly at the sun. If you plan on going outside to watch the eclipse, make sure you check out NASA’s Eclipse Safety page first.

NASA Solar Eclipse Interactive Map – click on any portion of the map to see specifics for that spot. Times are listed in Universal Time. So be sure to subtract 4 hours from the time listed.

View “Day to Night and Back Again” – a Science Café all about the pending solar eclipse with Museum astronomer Dr. Rachel Smith (held on August 10, 2017).

If you are interested in helping scientists answer a variety of research questions during the eclipse, several projects are available, including the following:

Eclipse Megamovie

The Eclipse Megamovie Project is gathering images of the eclipse from photographers, amateur astronomers, and the general public. They’ll then stitch the images together to create a continuous view of the total eclipse as it crosses the United States that will be available to researchers. More info.

Life Responds

This project is aimed at the more biologically minded eclipse watchers!  Report what happens to animal behaviors in your area before, during, and after the eclipse through the iNaturalist app or website.  More info.

Globe Observer

How cool is the eclipse?  Help scientists answer this question by recording the temperature during the eclipse, whether you’re in the path of totality or not.  More info.


This one is for Ham radio enthusiasts!  Use your equipment to help to study the ionospheric effects of the total solar eclipse in one of several studies. More info.


EclipseMob is a crowdsourced effort to conduct the largest-ever low-frequency radio wave propagation experiment during the 2017 solar eclipse. Build your own radio receiver and participate in the measurement!  More info.

Information about additional projects can be found on the NASA eclipse website or on SciStarter website.



August 21, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


SECU Daily Planet Theater

Downtown Raleigh
11 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601 United States
+ Google Map


Chris Smith