Wow in the Sky!

Aug 9, 2017
Originally published on August 11, 2017 9:12 am

Join us for a once in a lifetime "Wow" event at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. We are also looking for kid SKYwitness Reporters to cover the eclipse from their hometown.

On August 21st, 2017, for the first time in nearly 100 years, a total solar eclipse will cross the entire United States.

Mindy Thomas, host of NPR's Wow in the World, will be meeting up with the amazing team of experts at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. for their special eclipse viewing day activities – and you are invited!

The Smithsonian is open to all curious kids and their grown-ups who wish to participate. Observers in Washington, D.C. will be able to see the eclipse from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm EDT, with peak eclipse expected at 2:42 pm EDT. During the event Mindy, will be available to meet and interview some of the attendees – she will also be participating in many activities, where kids can build their own viewing devices, ask questions with the experts and see interactive demonstrations that help explain the eclipse.

See some of the Smithsonian activities below:

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, National Mall Building:

  • Safe solar telescopes (at the Observatory)
  • Free eclipse glasses (at the Observatory and inside at the Welcome Desk)
  • Make your own pinhole eclipse viewer (at the Observatory)
  • Live view of the eclipse from Museum staff in Liberty, Missouri, broadcast on screens throughout the Museum

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center:

  • Safe solar telescopes (outside the entrance)
  • Free eclipse glasses (outside the entrance and inside at the Welcome Desk)
  • Make your own pinhole eclipse viewer (inside, location TBD)

Read more about the Smithsonian's eclipse related events:

Learn more about the 2017 Eclipse from the Air and Space Museum:

Can't Make it?

Listen to Wow in the World's Special Eclipse Episode on August 14th where Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas help families navigate the what, where, when and how in the world to best experience this incredible astronomical event. And listen again on Thursday August 24th to hear real reports from Wowzers across the country about their eclipse experiences.

Safety first! Check out NASA's tips for safely viewing the eclipse:

We Want To Hear From You!

Are you planning to view the eclipse? We are looking for Wow Reporters to cover the eclipse from their hometown or wherever they might be. Send in your photos, audio or video of the eclipse for a chance to be feature in our next podcast or blogpost. Follow the contact form here: or call 888-7WOW-WOW.

You can also Tweet us at @wowintheworld or follow us on Facebook

Happy viewing!

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit