Great Tennessee Eclipse - August 21, 2017


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On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible along a narrow path in the continental United States from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina, and right through the heart of Tennessee. A partial eclipse will also be visible in all areas of North America and in parts of South America. This total solar eclipse will be visible from the campus of MTSU for the first time over 500 years. The next total solar eclipse in Murfreesboro will be in the year 2566, so this truly is a “once-in-a-lifetime” eventCome to the campus of MTSU to experience the eclipse with astronomers, physicists, historians, and philosophers.

Campus Events 


  • Friday, August 4th (7:30pm) - Friday Star Party - "History and Science of Solar Eclipses" (LRC Room 221)
  • Friday, August 11th (7:30pm) - Friday Star Party - "Observing and Photographing the Solar Eclipse" (LRC 221)
  • Sunday, August 20th (3:00pm) - Eclipse Special Guest: Discussion Panel, Stories, Images (Science Building, Room 1006)


(Updated on Aug. 1)

The Department of Physics and Astronomy and the College of Basic and Applied Sciences are hosting a special viewing event on campus from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, for the Great Tennessee Eclipse.

The event, which will be in the yard in front of the new Science Building, will include a music stage featuring student bands from Match Records, the student label in the College of Media and Entertainment, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; self-guided tours of the three-building Science Corridor of Innovation; and various tents on the grounds with activities run by our faculty.

From 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., the music stage will feature a science show with professors prepping the crowd for the solar phenomenon. The totality will be at 1:29 p.m. and last about two minutes.

Protective eclipse-viewing glasses, provided by Turner Construction, will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.


  • Traffic and parking may become difficult as the time for the totality draws closer. Visitors are advised to plan accordingly.
  • Visitors are welcome to park in any spaces or lots on the MTSU campus that are not otherwise marked or restricted as reserved or special needs.
      • No parking permit will be required on event day.
      • Parking is only allowed in designated parking spaces.
      • Spaces closest to the event will be the first to become full. If you arrive closer to the totality time, you should factor in walking time to get to the event site.
      • Parking is not allowed on grassy areas.
  • We ask visitors for the event to arrive no earlier than 8 a.m. on the day of the event.
  • No pets allowed (service animals are permitted).
  • No alcohol allowed.
  • This is an outdoor event. As such:
      • In the event of heavy rain, organizers may decide to cancel the event. Stay tuned to local media and this website if weather forecasts or conditions appear to make this a possibility.
      • Come prepared for outdoor exposure, including proper clothing and sun protection.
      • No seating is provided outdoors in the yard or at the music stage. Visitors are welcome to bring folding chairs or picnic blankets.
  • Light snacks, including hot dogs, will be on sale in the Keathley University Center’s second-floor grill area, which is accessible from the yard.


  • MTSU Campus Map for Eclipse Event8 a.m.: Event site opens for visitors

  • 11 a.m.: Event activities open. Activity tents around the perimeter of the event site will open, as well as activities at the observatories in front of the Wiser-Patton Science Building. Music by Match Records artists begin on music stage.

  • 12:30 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.: Welcome and event information from main stage.

  • 12:45 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.: Eclipse Q&A program from main stage, featuring a multimedia presentation by Physics and Astronomy faculty

  • 1:15 to 1:28 p.m.: Final safety reminders and countdown from main stage

  • 1:29 p.m.: Eclipse totality

  • 1:35 p.m. to 1:40 p.m.: Wrap-up discussions from the main stage

  • Physics and Astronomy faculty will host observations at various outside stations until 3 p.m.


The Solar Eclipse will reach Middle Tennessee between 1:25pm CST and 2:35pm CST on August 21, 2017.

NASA Solar Eclipse Tennessee Path


Teacher Resources



Do I need special glasses to view the eclipse?

  1. Yes, you do need special glasses.  A partial eclipse will be visible from 11:59 am – 2:55 pm CDT over all of Tennessee.   Glasses will be necessary during this entire period, except for one minute of totality at approximately 1:28pm CDT.
  2. Alternatively, you can make a pinhole camera to project to view the partial phases. View construction details.  

Where can I get eclipse glasses?

A variety of online vendors have prices ranging from $1 - $10 per pair, depending on quantity.  MTSU purchased glasses for local schools from  A limited number of pairs will be available to the public at MTSU during on-campus eclipse viewing on 8/21/2017.

Can I see the eclipse from my house/school/work?

Yes, you can see a partial eclipse anywhere in North America. However, to find out if you are in the path of totality, check the interactive map. Just zoom in on your location.

Where should I go to view the eclipse?

Any destination in the path of totality will be good as long as the weather cooperates.  However, expect extreme traffic delays, and travel early.  We recommend reaching your destination no later than 10:00 am.



MTSU Presentations




NASA Official logo

An official NASA viewing site for the Greater Nashville area