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Total Solar Eclipse

Don’t miss it: August 21, 2017! You’ll begin seeing the ‘first bite’ of the eclipse at 11:34 a.m. Totality begins at 12:58 p.m. and will last for two minutes and 14 seconds in Hastings. There’s so much to learn prior to the big day! This video explains the eclipse and some of the new terms you need to know to understand it. Events related to the eclipse are listed below. We hope you join in the fun!

Calendar of Events

If the events require an RSVP to the Museum, simply contact Visitor Services at 402.461.2399. Please note, not all events are hosted at the Museum!

Hastings Museum Activities at Prairie Loft’s Springfest
April 23 | 1-6 p.m.
We’ll be participating in Prairie Loft’s annual event for families! We’re planning on bringing a telescope for solar observing. We’ll also bring a simple art activity to help kids understand the solar eclipse. Admission is free. Solar observing will be available, weather permitting. For more information on Springfest: prairieloft.org

Teacher Workshop
Eclipse Facts & Activities for your Classroom
June 15 | 9-11 a.m. | RSVP by Monday, June 12
A one-stop shop to make it easy for teachers to incorporate the eclipse into their classrooms. We’ll provide history on solar and lunar eclipses, then bring you up to speed on the great solar eclipse of Aug. 21. We’ll include fun trivia and activities that can be adjusted based on grade level. We’ll touch on how to host a school watch party, and each participant will receive a notebook of resources and information. Each proposed activity will align with state standards. Workshop delivered by staff from Hastings Museum and UNL Extension.

Preschool Playday: Astronomy, Oh My!
July 8 | 10-10:45 a.m. | RSVP at least 24 hours in advance
Get you little ones in on the eclipse fun! Preschool Playdays are held on the second Saturday of most months. Kids explore exhibits, complete simple science experiments, and enjoy games, songs, activities that pertain to each month’s given theme. Preschoolers must be accompanied by an adult. Preschool Playday is free for Museum Members and costs regular Museum admission for Non-members!

Central Community College (CCC) Eclipse Class
At the Hastings Museum
Jul 13 | 7-8 pm | Register through CCC, details below
Do you feel “in the dark” about this impending celestial event? Let the Hastings Museum shine some light on the topic! We’ll start with a half-hour presentation about the 2017 solar eclipse. When is it coming? How can you make plans to best enjoy it? How common are solar eclipses? We’ll also include a planetarium show describing the night sky. We’ll finish with a Q&A session. We’ll be happy to field questions about the 2017 solar eclipse, as well as lunar eclipses, meteor showers and more! Contact Judy Hancock at (402) 461-2431 or judyhancock@cccneb.edu for registration and other questions. Registrations must be received at least one week prior to the start of class. If a class must be cancelled, students will be notified at least 24 hours prior to the start of class.

Up Close Program: Eclipse 101
July 14, 10-11 a.m. & July 15, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
RSVP at least 24 hours in advance
Join us for an A-Z program all about this summer’s biggest celestial event: the Great American Solar Eclipse. A full presentation by Planetarium staff! This program is free for Museum Members and regular Museum admission for Non-members. Our Up Close programs are intended for patrons ages 18-88 but all are welcome!

Teacher Workshop at Raising Nebraska, Grand Island
Eclipse Facts & Activities for your Classroom
July 18 | 2-4 p.m. | RSVP by Thursday, July 13
A one-stop shop to make it easy for teachers to incorporate the eclipse into their classrooms. We’ll provide history on solar and lunar eclipses, then bring you up to speed on the great solar eclipse of Aug. 21. We’ll include fun trivia and activities that can be adjusted based on grade level. We’ll touch on how to host a school watch party, and each participant will receive a notebook of resources and information. Each proposed activity will align with state standards. Workshop delivered by staff from Hastings Museum and UNL Extension.

Solar Observing
July 22 | 11 am-12 pm | Weather permitting
Get an up close look at the star in the center of our solar system! We use a specially equipped telescope, so you can look directly and safely at the! You’ll have a chance to see the sun in rich, rewarding detail! And the best part? It’s free! No RSVP needed, just stop by. If the weather is cooperating, Planetarium staff will be set up just outside the Museum’s main entrance. The Museum offers free observing the fourth Saturday of every month from 11 a.m. to noon, from April through September.

Kool-Aid Days
August 11-13
To help celebrate Kool-Aid Days, the Museum hosts several special activities. This year, information and education related to the solar eclipse will be incorporated. More details soon.

SolFest in Hastings, NE
August 18-20
Music and activities throughout the community: SolFest 2017

August 19, the Saturday before the Eclipse
– We are booking an astronomer for free public talks. More details soon.
– We’re adding extra planetarium shows to our schedule!

August 20, the Sunday before the Eclipse
– We’re working on booking an astronomer for a free afternoon talks. Details soon.
– We’re adding extra planetarium shows to our schedule!

Eclipse Day! Watch Party!
August 21 | Activities begin at 10:30 a.m.
Join us on our front patio, weather permitting! We’ll have staff serving free cookies and Kool-Aid. Planetarium staff will be on hand for questions and we’ll have our telescope out to solar observe during the First Bite! More details as the day approaches!
– 10:30 a.m. Last chance to catch our Eclipse 101 program in Theatre.
– 11 a.m. Solar Observing on the Museum’s front patio, weather permitting.
– 11:34 a.m. First Bite on the Eclipse becomes visible.
– 12:58:50 Totality begins. It will last 2 minutes and 14 seconds.

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