Solar Eclipse 2017: Where To Watch Across Tampa Bay, Central Florida
From observatories and museums to parks and libraries, events will happen across Tampa Bay and Central Florida for the 2017 solar eclipse.
THE ECLIPSE IS NOT TOTAL IN FLORIDA!
YOU MUST ALWAYS USE EYE PROTECTION TO VIEW THE ECLIPSE IF YOU ARE IN FLORIDA!
For the first time in almost a century, a solar eclipse will be visible across the entire continental United States. While Florida may be left out of the viewing for the total eclipse, the Sunshine State will still see a near total eclipse for several hours on Monday, Aug. 21.
Most of Florida will see the eclipse somewhere between 65 to 90 percent. The celestial event is due to start at approximately 1:45 p.m., depending on where in the state it’s being viewed. It’s expected to end sometime around 4:15 p.m.
The ability to see the eclipse will also depend upon the weather across the state as well.
Image via NASA
The closest places to Florida to see the total eclipse are in South Carolina, where the path of the sun splits the wedge-shape state in half from the Upstate to the Midlands. For those who wish to stay closer to home and enjoy the partial eclipse, there are number of places across Tampa Bay and Central Florida to watch.
NASA’s Total Eclipse 2017 Coverage
While most of its celebrations for the 2017 solar eclipse will take place along the path of totality, NASA has plenty of online resources for the big celestial event. It is also collecting announcements from the public across the country to provide a central database of eclipse-themed events.
For people who won’t be able to travel to any sites along the total eclipse line, NASA will be providing an online stream for people to watch the full eclipse anywhere in the world. The eclipse can be viewed at https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive. The live viewing site up and running, and has links to related materials and a vast image library.
More eclipse coverage can be found at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/.
Solar Eclipse Day 2017
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, State Road 405, Kennedy Space Center, FL
Central Florida’s most famous gateway to the starts will celebrate our star’s greatest spectacle in a century at the Kennedy Space Center. The spaceport’s visitor complex will host Solar Eclipse Day 2017 on Monday, Aug. 21 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Rocket Garden.
Experts on space will be on site to meet with guests, answer questions and offer commentary throughout the event. NASA TV’s coverage will live stream content from across the U.S. on the visitor complex’s Jumbotron. Activities for children include safe ways to look at the sun.
For more information, visit https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com.
Museums and Planetariums
MOSI Solar Eclipse 2017 Party
Museum of Science & Industry, 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa
The Museum of Science & Industry will reopen its doors to host a party to welcome the 2017 solar eclipse, featuring a wide range of STEM activities. The free event will take place on Monday, Aug. 21 from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
Events will include a space talk, eclipse viewing through telescopes fitted with solar filters and eclipse viewer building. In case of overcast skies, MOSI will air a live stream video of the event from NASA.
“Even though MOSI will be temporarily closed due to renovation, we are excited to share our enthusiasm for the eclipse with the Tampa Bay Community,” said Anthony Pelaez, the MOSI director of innovation. “Events like these are made even more fun when space and science enthusiasts gather together to experience the wonders of our universe.”
For more information, visit https://www.mosi.org/mosi-events/experience-solar-eclipse-mosi/.
Orlando Science Center
777 E. Princeton St., Orlando
The Orlando Science Center will host a celebration for the 2017 solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. Events will include:
- Viewing the eclipse with special glasses and/or solar telescope filters
- Make phone filters to capture photos
- Create solar-themed crafts and art activities
- Calculate eclipse distances and temperatures
- View solar eclipse demos and presentations
The event is free with admission: $20.95 for adults, $14.95 for children age 3 to 11, seniors and students, $18.95, 2 years and younger, free.
The science center will also host a couple of events around the Orlando area that will also feature solar demos, models and activities. Free solar viewing glass will be distributed at each location starting at 12:30 p.m. until supplies last. The event locations are scheduled to take place at:
- Central Park West Meadow, 150 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park
- Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando
For more information, visit https://www.osc.org/eclipse/.
Eastern Florida State College Planetarium & Observatory
1519 Clearlake Road, Building 19, Cocoa
The Eastern Florida State College Planetarium & Observatory will open its doors on Monday, Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. for the viewing of “The Great American Eclipse.”
“This event is begin touted as The Great American Eclipse because the entire lower 48 states are in line to see at least part of it,” said Mark Howard the director of the EFSC Planetarium.
The eclipse will begin in Brevard County at approximately 1:21 p.m. and continue until 4:17 p.m. The maximum eclipse will occur at 2:55 p.m. when 88 percent of the sun will be obscured.
The observatory is located on the west side of the Cocoa Campus and will be open for the full duration on the event. Solar eclipse glasses can be purchased on-site for $1 each. Staff will be on hand to assist guest on how to view the sun through the telescope, using filters or indirect methods.
For more information, visit http://www.easternflorida.edu/community-resources/planetarium/.
Lights Out Across America
While Mark Twain once wrote that golf is a good walk spoiled, a seeing a solar eclipse during a round of golf may be enough to forget any bad day on the links.
LeaderboardKing, a Jacksonville-based company that operates live scoring golfing software, will host the Lights Out Across America golf tournament across the country at participating golf courses on Monday, Aug. 21.
Lights Out Across America is open to individuals and groups. Individuals will be placed in groups for the event. One person in each group will enter scores on their phone. Players can also use their phone to see a PGA-like leaderboard for their own event and where they stand nationally.
The event doesn’t take itself too seriously. With only pride on the line for the winners, LeaderboardKing will award prizes nationally for the best outfits. And by best, they mean wackiest, goofiest or anything that stands out. The company’s crack staff of judges will judge all the pictures posted to their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LBKGolf, and they will send “something” to the winners.
Participants who complete an online scorecard will receive digital certificates of participation, displaying their scorecard. Those players will also qualify for LOAA merchandise and prizes. The online participation will also help LeaderboardKing try to break a Guinness World Record for participating in the largest one-day golf event ever.
Golf courses in the Tampa Bay area and Central Florida that have currently registered are:
- Countryside Country Club, 3001 Countryside Blvd., Clearwater: Four-man scramble, shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. Registration is $57 per golfer and includes one round of golf, cart fees, range balls, prize pool and all other Lights Out Across America benefits.
- Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club, 5811 Tampa Palms Blvd., Tampa: Four-man scramble, shotgun start at noon. Registration is $57 per golfer and includes one round of golf, cart fees, range balls, lunch, prize pool and all other Lights Out Across America benefits.
To request a local golf course to participate in the event, visit http://www.loaagolf.com/request.html. For more information on Lights Out Across America or to register to play, visit http://www.loaagolf.com.
Knights Under the Stars
UCF Main Campus
The UCF Planetary Sciences Group will host a special Knights Under the Stars public events during the 2017 solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. The event will take place next to the Reflecting Pond near Millican Hall on the UCF main campus at 4365 Andromeda Loop N., Orlando.
The group will have telescopes set up for safe viewing during the partial eclipse, as well as eclipse glasses for participants to borrow. The event will take place if it is overcast, but may be cancelled if it rains with no sign of letting up during the eclipse.
As the first day of fall semester coincides with the day of the eclipse, the Planetary Sciences Group recommends for off-campus participants to allow for extra time to navigate through campus, find parking and purchase a parking permit.
For more information, visit https://planets.ucf.edu/observatory/knights-under-the-stars-schedule/.
Eclipse 2017 Observing Event
Seminole State College of Florida, 100 Weldon Blvd., Sanford
The Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College will host the Eclipse 2017 Observing Event on Monday, Aug. 21 from noon to 4:30 p.m. The event will take place on the front sidewalks of the Automotive Technology building on the main campus.
Planetarium staff and volunteers from the Central Florida Astronomical Society, the Seminole State College STEM Club and others will have filtered telescopes and binoculars set up for viewing the eclipse. They will also host several presentations during the event for those interested in learning more about the science behind the eclipse.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/735711483238043.
Total Eclipse of the Park
Oscar Scherer State Park, 1843 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey
While the name of the party may be a bit of a misnomer, Total Eclipse of the Park will celebrate the 2017 solar eclipse at Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey.
The event, which is set to take place from 1:15 to 4:15 p.m. will feature several activities centered around the eclipse, which will have 73 percent coverage over the park. Park staff will have a pinhole projector crafts table for guests who bring a cardboard box or tube. They will also have some ranger-made pinhole projectors for guests, who are also invited to bring a chair, beverages, snacks or eclipse glasses.
For more information, visit 941-483-5957.
Great American Solar Eclipse
Waterfront Park, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor
The Safety Harbor Library will host a Great American Solar Eclipse event at Waterfront Park in Safety Harbor on Monday, Aug. 21 from 2 to 3 p.m. Eclipse glasses will be provided. For more information, call (727) 724-1525 ext. 4112.
Solar Eclipse Viewing Event
78th Street Community Library, 7625 Palm River Road, Tampa
The 78th Street Community Library will host its Solar Eclipse Viewing Event on Monday, Aug. 21 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the Community Room. Participants can learn how to safely view the solar eclipse. Free eclipse viewing glasses will be given away to all attendees. The materials will be provided by Star_Net Project. The event is geared toward people of all ages.
For more information, visit http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/locations/sst/.
STEAM Squadron: Solar Eclipse
North Tampa Branch Library, 8916 N. Boulevard, Tampa
The Friends of the North Tampa Branch Library will host STEAM Squadron: Solar Eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Computer Lab. The event, geared toward children in grades K-5, will host an event centered around the solar eclipse.
For more information, visit http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/locations/nta/.
Total Eclipse 2017
East Lake County Library, 31340 County Road 437 S., Sorrento
The East Lake County Library will present Total Eclipse 2017 on Monday, Aug. 21 at 12:30 p.m. The Lake County Library System’s Sean O’Keefe will give a presentation on how the eclipse works. Students will receive their own Solar Eclipse-approved glasses donated by NASA. Pizza will be provided by Gigi’s Italian Restaurant while supplies last. Other refreshments provided by the Friends of the East Lake County Library.
Registration is required. For more information, call (352) 383-9980.
Beach Chair Eclipse Viewing
St. Pete Beach Public Library, 365 73rd Ave., St. Pete Beach
The St. Pete Beach Public Library will host Beach Chair Eclipse Viewing on Monday, Aug. 21 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Guests are invited to bring their beach chairs and the library will provide eclipse glasses. The library is also handing out free eclipse glasses through Saturday, Aug. 5 while supplies last.
Before the eclipse, the St. Pete Beach Public Library will also host a pre-eclipse show geared toward children ages 7-12 on Friday, Aug. 18 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The event will feature activities all about eclipses.
For more information, visit www.spblibrary.com.
Solar Eclipse Viewing
Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College, 9200 113th St. N., Seminole
The Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College will host a Solar Eclipse Viewing event on Monday, Aug. 21 from 1:17 to 4:14 p.m. The library invites the public to join them on the lawn to view the partial eclipse. Free solar viewing glasses will be available for attendees.
For more information, visit http://www.pplc.us.
Solar Eclipse Viewing 2017
Alafaya Branch Library, 12000 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando
The Alafaya Branch Library will host a Solar Eclipse Viewing on Monday, Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. Library will host a celebration where guests can learn about the eclipse and view the event.
To register for the event, visit https://calendar.ocls.info/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=323031.
Eclipse Across America 2017
Washington Park Branch Library, 5151 Raleigh St. A, Orlando
The Washington Park Branch Library will host Eclipse Across America 2017 on Monday, Aug. 21 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Learn about the eclipse and enjoy crafts and stories. All ages are welcome to the event.
To register for the event, visit https://calendar.ocls.info/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=323111.
Solar Eclipse Viewing Party
South Trail Branch Library, 4600 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando
The South Trail Branch Library will host a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on Monday, Aug. 21 from 3 to 4 p.m. Learn about the solar eclipse, enjoy crafts, activities and more. All ages are welcome.
To register for the event, visit https://calendar.ocls.info/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=322216.
Solar Eclipse Viewing Party
Chickasaw Branch, 870 N. Chickasaw Trail, Orlando
The Chickasaw Branch Library will host a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on Monday, Aug. 21 from 3 to 4 p.m. Learn about the solar eclipse, enjoy crafts, activities and more. All ages are welcome. Registration is required. For more information, call (407) 835-7323.
Solar Eclipse 2017
West Oaks Branch Library, 1821 E. Silver Star Road, Ocoee
The West Oaks Branch Library will host Solar Eclipse 2017 on Monday, Aug. 21 from 3 to 4 p.m. Learn about the eclipse and enjoy crafts and stories. All ages are welcome.
To register for the event, visit https://calendar.ocls.info/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=322864.
Solar Eclipse Viewing Party
Winter Garden Branch Library, 805 E. Plant St., Winter Garden
The Winter Garden Branch Library will host a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on Monday, Aug. 21 from 3 to 4 p.m. Learn about the solar eclipse, and enjoy crafts, activities and more. All ages are welcome.
To register for the event, visit https://calendar.ocls.info/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=322924.
Solar Eclipse Viewing Party
Eatonville Branch Library, 200 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville
The Eatonville Branch Library will host a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on Monday, Aug. 21 from 3 to 4 p.m. Learn about the solar eclipse, and enjoy crafts and activities. All ages are welcome. To register for the event, call (407) 835-7323.
Solar Eclipse 2017
Southwest Branch Library, 7255 Della Drive, Orlando
The Southwest Branch Library will host Solar Eclipse 2017 on Monday, Aug. 21 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Learn about the eclipse and enjoy crafts and stories. All ages are welcome.
To register for the event, visit https://calendar.ocls.info/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=325445.
Solar Eclipse Viewing Party
Windermere Branch Library, 530 Main St., Windermere
The Windermere Branch Library will host a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on Monday, Aug. 21 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Learn about the solar eclipse, and enjoy crafts and activities. All ages are welcome.
To register for the event, visit https://calendar.ocls.info/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=328754.
Teen Solar Eclipse Viewing
North Port Library, 13800 Tamiami Trail, North Port
The North Port Library will host a Teen Solar Eclipse Viewing event on Monday, Aug. 21 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Teens in grades 6-12 are invited to view the eclipse and learn the science behind a solar eclipse then. Participants can try out viewing glasses provided by NASA and use a 3D-printed pinhole viewer to watch the eclipse.