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The Montshire Museum of Science is an interactive science center in Norwich, Vermont, with more than 150 hands-on exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. Outdoors, visitors can explore nature trails and exhibits on wind, water, and sound in David Goudy Science Park. Visiting exhibitions, educational programs, and special events are offered throughout the year.


Solar Eclipse Day: An Astronomical Event That Can’t Be Missed!

Monday, August 21, 2017, marks the first time in 38 years that a total solar eclipse will be visible across the contiguous United States. Join space enthusiasts and astronomy educators at the Montshire Museum of Science for a day of viewing and learning about this astronomical occurrence. During this time, the moon's diameter will appear larger than the sun and block all direct sunlight. While only 14 states in the eclipse’s thin path of totality will be able to experience total darkness, other areas such as New England, will still be able to see the rare vision of a partial eclipse.

The Montshire will host a series of activities surrounding this historical event. In addition to viewing the eclipse with a refracting telescope, visitors will find out more about the sun, Earth, and the moon through hands-on lessons and demonstrations.

Coinciding with the eclipse is the unveiling of our updated Planet Walk, a scale model of the solar system. Refreshed with brand new features, this unique outdoor trail will now display objects in the Asteroid Belt (between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter), as well as the Kuiper Belt, which includes dwarf planet Pluto. Each exhibit has been updated with new imagery and information.

Solar Eclipse Day will include:
Astronomical Scavenger Hunt – Explore the Museum’s indoor and outdoor exhibits to complete the scavenger hunt. Exhibits include sun dials, the Granite Globe, and the Planet Walk.

Pinhole Viewing – One of the best ways to see the eclipse is through a small hole. Through this technique, create a beautiful and unique image of the sun that can then be captured in a photograph.

Shadow Tracing – Trace your shadow to document the sun’s apparent motion across the sky, caused by the Earth’s daily rotation.

“The Hows and Whys of a Solar Eclipse” – Learn about the science behind the solar eclipse through brief interactive lessons. Lessons are scheduled for 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm.

Planet Walk – Travel from the sun to the edge of the solar system on this newly updated one-mile trail. Journey through the solar system by visiting eleven stations with scale models, each at a distance that represents their place in our solar system.

Activities will occur rain or shine. Solar eclipse viewing will be weather dependent. The Montshire will have solar viewing glasses available for visitors to borrow for the viewing-related activities. Participating in activities is free with admission.

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