Eclipse: The Sun Revealed

 

August 15 – 19
11:00, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00


Guest speaker August 22 at 7:00

Dr. David Gurber will be speaking about the moons of the solar system.

Most people learn about the sun and the eight planets in our solar system but rarely learn about the 182 natural satellites which are as diverse and interesting as the planets. This presentation will begin with Earth’s moon and cover historical implication of the four well know Galilean moons around Jupiter, moons of Saturn, and explore some dwarf planets and their moons.

Free admission

 


We Are Sold Out of Eclipse Glasses

We’re sorry, but we have run out of eclipse glasses and will not be able to get more.  We have confirmed that as of Wednesday afternoon, K-Mart still has glasses available at $1.49 per pair.  Or if you’d like to support a good cause, Seton House also has glasses.  Theirs are $3 per pair or 2 pairs for $5, with all proceeds going to help families in crisis achieve independence and self-sufficiency.  They are located at 919 North Durbin Street, open weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm.


Advance Tickets Available for Eclipse: The Sun Revealed

Even though we have added extra show times for Eclipse: The Sun Revealed (playing at 11 am, 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm Aug. 15 – 19), we have had several performances sell out already.   Don’t be shut out — buy your tickets in advance.

Stop by the Planetarium at 904 North Poplar between 9 am and 5 pm to get your tickets.  Please remember we can only accept cash or checks — no credit or debit cards.  That also means we cannot sell tickets over the phone or internet — you’ll need to stop by in person.

Tickets are $3 per person.  The show lasts about 45 minutes, and we recommend that children be at least 6 years old to view it.


Extra times for eclipse program

August 15 – 19 Program schedule

Eclipse:  The Sun Revealed show times

11:00 am

1:00 pm

4:00 pm

7:00 pm


Heart of the Sun

Saturdays at 8:00 pm

$3.00 per person
Run Time: 35 minutes
Recommended for ages 8 and up


Don’t Have a Cow, Man! You Can Learn About Astronomy with the Simpsons

The Natrona County Library and Casper Planetarium will host physicist Dr. David Gruber on Saturday, August 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Natrona County Library. In some of the over 550 episodes which have been aired, the writers and creators of “The Simpsons” also included astronomical references and even dedicated entire episodes to space and astronomy. In his presentation Dr. Gruber will show excerpts from the hit TV series and discuss the astronomical content they contain. Dr. Gruber holds a BSc. and MSc. from the University of Vienna in Vienna, Austria as well as an IMPRS and Ph.D. from the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany.  This is a free presentation and all are welcome.
                                      

It’s More Than Just 146 Seconds of Darkness

 

There’s more to an eclipse than just the few minutes of darkness at totality. You can observe the moment of first contact when the moon just begins to pass in front of the sun, and the change in shadows as the eclipse proceeds. Shadow bands are an unusual phenomenon that lasts only a few seconds, just before and after totality. These are wavy bands of light and shade that are not always visible.

 

Just before totality, you may see Bailey’s Beads appear. These lights are created because the moon has mountains and valleys, so its outline is jagged rather than smooth. Just before totality, the moon blocks almost all the sun’s light, but a few rays slip through the valleys and are seen as individual “beads” of light along the edge of the moon.   When only a single bead of light remains, it is called the diamond ring.

 

Once totality is reached, you can safely remove your eye protection (but only for the period of totality – put them on again as soon as the sun begins to show) and observe things you can’t see with the naked eye at any other time.   You will see a pinkish or magenta ring around the sun. This is the chromosphere, a part of the sun’s atmosphere.   You will also see the sun’s corona, a whitish halo. The temperature of the corona is actually hotter than the surface of the sun, reaching as much as 3,5000,000 degrees Fahrenheit (the surface is a relatively low 10,000 degrees). You may be able to see solar prominences, huge explosions of superheated material that look like flames leaping away from the sun. Sometimes you can see these prominences form a loop and fall back into the sun.

 

Other events you may notice during the eclipse include a change in the color of the sky, the appearance of winter constellations, a drop in temperature, and unusual animal behavior (for example, birds may roost as the eclipse progresses, and roosters may crow as the eclipse passes).

 

We have a scorecard you can use to keep track of the phenomena you see during the eclipse. Click HERE to print out a copy.

 


Be Part of Solar Research – Draw the Corona!

Solar eclipses provide scientists with some of their best opportunities to study the corona, the ring of plasma that surrounds the sun. When the moon completely covers the sun, the corona becomes visible as a white ring around the sun.   It’s not a smooth ring, however.   You can see solar flares and prominences stretching out away from the sun’s surface at some points.  In some places plasma may appear to erupt outwards and then loop back toward the sun’s surface. Other spots may seem calm and quiet.   Before the development of photography, scientists made drawings of what they observed. Of course, each person’s drawing was a bit different, so one way to get a more accurate image was to take multiple drawings and layer them on top of one another to form a composite image.

During the eclipse of 1860, six scientists recorded these drawings of the corona, which were then combined to make a single, more detailed image:

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We’re going to do that same thing here in Casper.   You can pick up a template of the sun, marked off into 12 equal sections, at the Planetarium, or download one HERE and print it.   On eclipse day, during the totality (when the sun is completely covered by the moon), draw the corona as you see it. Then return your sheet to the Planetarium by August 28th and we’ll include your drawing in our composite image project.