Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History hosts a solar eclipse viewing party

Day will turn into night when a rare celestial event takes over the sky later this month.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History invites families to “Experience the Eclipse,” a solar eclipse viewing on Monday, August 21. The event, which will be held at the Museum’s Palmer Observatory, starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 11:45 a.m.

Visitors will be able to witness the sun’s corona illuminate from behind the moon using the Museum’s state-of-the-art 20-inch telescope. Museum guides will be on hand to provide astronomy information to guests.

“This event will give our guests the chance to catch a glimpse of this unique sighting,” said Javier Rivera, Astronomy Programs Manager at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. “Our goal is to provide a fun, educational opportunity for the community to come together to learn about the mysteries of space.”

The solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and sun, blocking direct sunlight. The moon will cast a 70-mile-wide shadow spanning from Oregon to South Carolina.

Often described as the “Great American Eclipse,” the eclipse will be visible only to those in the United States. The event will mark the eclipse’s first appearance since 1918; the next total solar eclipse visible from the U.S. won’t happen again until 2024.

The solar eclipse will be streamed online on the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Facebook page from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Before you put your eyes on the skies, follow these tips from NASA:

  • Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the phase of the eclipse when the moon blocks the sun’s surface entirely. Do not look head-on at the solar eclipse and give your eyes breaks when viewing it.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Use special-purpose solar filters or “eclipse glasses” to watch the eclipse.
  • The eclipse is best viewed when magnified. If possible, use a telescope with a solar filter for a magnified view that clearly shows the progress of an eclipse.

Experience the Eclipse

When: Monday, August 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Where: Palmer Observatory at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol.

Tickets: This is a FREE public program. Visitors can purchase special eclipse glasses in the Museum Store for $2.00 after August 11th. If you wish to explore the Museum after attending the eclipse viewing Admission is required. Adult admission is $12, senior and teen tickets are $8 and $7 for children. Admission is always free for Museum members and for children age 2 and under. Free parking is available at the Museum.

About the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History:

Founded in 1916, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History strives to instill a passion for learning and discovery among its patrons. The Museum aims to build relationships with the Santa Barbara community as well as encourage members to seek a better understanding of the world around them. For more information, call (805) 682-4711 or visit

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