Triton College’s Cernan Center is Your Great American Eclipse of 2017 Headquarters

Stick with Triton College’s Cernan Earth and Space Center to ensure you have the best possible experience when you witness the Great American Eclipse of 2017. On Monday, Aug. 21, one of nature’s greatest spectacles will unfold as a total eclipse of the sun will cross the United States, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, for the first time since 1918.  

Between now and the big day, make your way to the Cernan Center’s planetarium to catch Totality — a program totally about eclipses. You’ll learn how and why eclipses occur and what happens when they do. Explore how a past total solar eclipse proved general relativity and learn when, where and how to safely observe a solar eclipse.

Totality show times are as follows now through Aug. 20:

(All shows include information about the current night sky and the upcoming eclipse.)

Monday-Thursday           2:30 p.m.                            

Saturday                              7 p.m. (Except for July 29 when replaced by Monthly Skywatch.)

Sunday                                 2 p.m.

Then, on August 21, 2017, the Cernan Earth and Space Center will host safe observation of the 86% partial solar eclipse that will be visible from the Chicagoland area, weather permitting. A myriad of activities and tools will be available for everyone to enjoy this ‘daytime’ celestial event.

Eclipse Day, Aug. 21, 2017

These activities are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Get outdoors and observe the solar eclipse using several different methods. (Weather permitting.)

Safe indirect observing will include using a colander, peg board and other pinhole projections.

Look for sunspots and watch the eclipse using a Sunspotter folded solar telescope.

Use a reflecting telescope with full aperture solar filter to enjoy the eclipse event.

Come indoors for air-conditioning and more. (Rain or shine.)

Learn about the science, history and mystery of solar eclipses during  the 11 a.m. showing of Totality in the planetarium. (Ticket required.) http://www.triton.edu/cernan/totality/                    

Watch live streaming video from a remote location to see the partial phases and 2 minutes 40 seconds of totality from 11:45 a.m.-2:45 p.m.

Shop in the Star Store from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., for solar shades, T-shirts, books and much more. (The Star Store will be closed from 1:10-1:30 p.m.)

Wrap up your eclipse experience starting at 3 p.m. with a Cosmic Light Show featuring the timeless music of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. (Ticket required.) http://www.triton.edu/cernan/darkside/

Named for legendary Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan, Triton’s Cernan Earth and Space Center utilizes a 44-foot diameter digital planetarium to inspire, educate, and entertain audiences of all ages about astronomy and space exploration as well as history, culture, music and more. The lobby includes an exhibit area featuring a 1/15 scale model space shuttle, Capt. Cernan’s Apollo 10 spacesuit and Apollo 17 artifacts, an Illinois fossil collection and more. The Star Store Gift Shop features eclipse merchandise including safe solar viewers plus an assortment of unique gifts such as T-shirts, jewelry, puzzles, books and more for science enthusiasts, nature lovers or yourself.

For more information on the Great American Eclipse of 2017 and other Cernan Center programs, call (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3372, or stop by the Cernan Center, located on the west side of the Triton College campus, 2000 Fifth Ave., River Grove. 

In case you missed it, our very own Kris McCall was featured on WTTW's 'Chicago Tonight'. Click here to view the episode.