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Annular Solar Eclipse Celebration

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Date: May 1, 2012

On the evening of May 20, 2012, the skies over southeast Utah will host a rare celestial occurrence: an annular solar eclipse. Arches, Canyonlands and Natural Bridges will offer special ranger-led activities to help visitors enjoy this unique experience safely.

Friday, May 18th and Saturday, May 19th
Needles District Visitor Center, Canyonlands, 2 p.m.
Learn how eclipses work and make your own solar eclipse pinhole viewer.

Saturday, May 19th
Moab Farmer's Market at Swanny Park, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Meet a ranger at the National Park Service booth and learn how to make your own solar eclipse pinhole viewer.

Saturday, May 19th and Sunday, May 20th
Arches Devils Garden Amphitheater, 9 p.m.
Enjoy a ranger-led astronomy-themed Evening Program in the campground amphitheater. Programs last 45-60 minutes.

Sunday, May 20th
Solar Eclipse Viewing
Join a ranger from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to view the eclipse with solar viewers at the following locations:

  • Arches National Park, Panorama Point
  • Canyonlands National Park, two locations: Green River Overlook, Island in the Sky or Pothole Point, Needles
  • Natural Bridges National Monument, Visitor Center


Of the parks listed here, the full annular eclipse will only be visible at Natural Bridges.


  • Looking directly at the sun without a proper solar filter can cause severe eye damage, including blindness; sunglasses do not provide sufficient protection. Rangers at each location will provide approved solar viewing devices and assist visitors with understanding the celestial mechanics that cause this special event.
  • Photographing the sun without proper solar filters on your camera may cause permanent damage to digital sensors.

To learn more about the eclipse, including where best to see it and events in other parks, visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/features/eclipse/.

Did You Know?

proposed wilderness

Nearly 96% of Arches is recommended for wilderness designation. Though the recommendation has not been approved by Congress, the park is required to manage those 73,312 acres as though they were formally designated wilderness. More...