NASA Video: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Disclaimer: Please excuse the advertising; PRAS does not endorse, nor is responsible for advertising that appears when a video is playing.

In the Sky - Click for more details: August 2017 

In addition... it is time, or past time, to plan for observing the eclipse of the Sun on August 21 that will occur at about midday in the central US.  Since the Moon orbits eastward, the eclipse will happen first on the west coast at about 10:15 a.m. PDT.  It will exit the US on the South Carolina coast at about 2:50 EDT, so it will take the shadow of the Sun about 1 1/2 hours to race across the country, with each spot along the path receiving about 2 1/2 minutes of totality.  An internet search will turn up a tremendous amount of information, but you might want to check out and Orion Telescopes (  One caution I have read is to scout the area where you want to view the eclipse in advance because the crowds will be huge. You should make special note of where there are restrooms because you will want to be in place early.
If you are not traveling to the eclipse path, you can view a partial eclipse almost everywhere in the US, but eye protection is required. You can buy inexpensive glasses with solar filters from many vendors including the Grout Museum in Waterloo.  You can also put a pin hole in a piece of stiff paper and project the eclipse onto the ground.  I have seen directions that say you should use a thumb tack sized hole and also directions that say to use a 1/4 inch hole. I would make several holes of different sizes to use.
At any rate this will be an event to remember.  Enjoy.
Another event to enjoy is Iowa’s biggest star party, the Iowa Star Party, September 14 – 18, at the Whiterock Conservancy, Coon Rapids, IA.  Cost is $40/person and $50/per family.

-David Voigts