By Scott Shumaker
All the buzz surrounding the August 21 solar eclipse may be leaving some Phoenicians with an acute case of FOMO (fear of missing out). That’s because the “Great American Eclipse” will only block a maximum of 63 percent of the Phoenix sun during the eclipse, while other cities, like Salem, Oregon, will have a couple minutes of total darkness.
So eclipse chasers will probably not be flooding the city’s hotels and campgrounds, but the eclipse will still be impressive to watch in Phoenix. At 9:13 a.m. Monday, August 21, the moon will begin blocking the sun in the Valley. By 10:33 a.m., the eclipse will reach its peak, with it retreating at noon over Phoenix. Phoenix may not be the top destination for eclipse lovers, but check it out at one of these five places.
ARIZONA SCIENCE CENTER
Young children can have trouble appreciating the existential profundity of astronomical events, so the Arizona Science Center has made eclipse-watching a hands-on activity. The Arizona Science Center’s viewing party will offer attendees of all ages the opportunity to create eclipse art, assemble eclipse viewers, and make solar bead bracelets. There will also be food and talks by astronomers from Arizona State University and the Phoenix Astronomical Society. After the eclipse, there will be sun-themed shows in the Dorrance Planetarium.
Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, 602.716.2000, azscience.org, 8:30 a.m. to noon, $13-$18.
ASU, HAYDEN LAWN
Die-hard Sun Devils fans can add “ASU-themed solar glasses” to their collection of Arizona State University apparel at this eclipse-viewing event on ASU’s Hayden Lawn. Beginning at 9 a.m., ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration will provide eclipse-viewing telescopes, solar glasses and a 3-D presentation in the school’s Marston Exploration Theater.
Hayden Lawn and Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building, 550 E. Orange Street, Tempe, 480.727.4662, asuevents.com, 9 a.m. to noon, free.
MESA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Mesa Community College is hosting eclipse-watching events. The Red Mountain campus will have concessions, free solar viewers, demonstrations and solar eclipse information. Meanwhile the school at Southern and Dobson will have eclipse-viewing telescopes set up and free planetarium shows.
Red Mountain Campus, Saguaro Building Lobby, 7110 E. McKellips Road, Mesa, 480.461.7015, mesacc.edu, 9 a.m. to noon, free.
Southern and Dobson Campus, Clocktower Courtyard, 1833 E. Southern Avenue, Mesa, 480.461.7015, mesacc.edu, 9 a.m. to noon.
CHANDLER-GILBERT COMMUNITY COLLEGE, PECOS CAMPUS
No need to Google your sudden eclipse-related questions at this event. At Chandler-Gilbert Community College, you can watch the solar eclipse alongside professional astronomers. School astronomers will set up a solar telescope to safely watch the sun during the eclipse and will assist attendees in making their own pinhole cameras.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Pecos Campus, Ironwood Hall, 2626 E. Pecos Road, Chandler, 480.732.7000, connection.cgc.edu, 9 a.m. to noon, free.
WHITE TANK BRANCH, MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY
The White Tank Branch of the Maricopa County Library will provide free eclipse-viewing glasses (while supplies last) and help attendees make their own sun visor. Registration required.
Maricopa County Library’s White Tank Branch, 20304 W. White Tank Mountain Road, Waddell, 602.652.3000, mcldaz.org, 9 to 11 a.m., free, registration required.