Eclipse Day


Join us for Partial Eclipse Viewing!

We're hosting live, safe viewing (weather permitting) of our star, the Sun, as it's partially eclipsed by our cosmic partner, the Moon, on August 21st. Although the Observatory is NOT on the path of totality, we'll still see approximately 60% of the Sun's surface covered by the Moon. While we enthusiastically encourage everyone to travel to see the Total Eclipse, if you just can't make it to areas of the country that will be experiencing totality, ~ 60% still provides a somewhat interesting view. The partial eclipse begins at approximately 11:30a, reaches its deepest point (from the perspective of McDonald) a little before 1:00p, and ends at roughly 2:20p. We'll be directly viewing the Sun (weather permitting) through several safely filtered telescopes in the courtyard areas at the Visitors Center as well as in the comfort of the Center's theater via our regular Solar Viewing set-up using specially filtered telescopes and high-res video cameras. Viewing of the eclipse is free for all participants.

Remember, the Observatory, in no way, experiences anything close to totality. The difference between the 60% (or even 99%, for that matter) and totality is, literally, the difference between day and night. If you want to see what the fuss of a Total Solar Eclipse is all about, you need to get to an area of the country that will experience totality. A 60% partial eclipse will not give you even 1% much less 60% of that experience, unfortunately.


Join us for a Tour!

With all of the viewing of the partially eclipse we'll be offering, you may want to see something besides the Sun. Join us for a Guided Tour of some of the largest telescopes in the world here at McDonald Observatory. The tour will follow the eclipse viewing and will depart from the Visitors Center at 3:00p so don't be late. Passes for this specially priced tour can be reserved below but participation is limited ... reserve your passes today!

Due to demand, we've added a guided tour at 10:30a (finishing up by roughly noon.) This will be an identical tour to the program offered at 3:00p. As the Partial Eclipse will be getting underway from McDonald by 11:30a, those joining this early tour will miss the first 30 minutes or so of the eclipse but will (weather permitting) see the eclipse at its maximum (~ 60% eclipsed.) Reserve your passes below.



Overview of Visitors Center

Overview of Frank N. Bash Visitors Center