The 2017 Solar Eclipse Across America will be visible on August 21, 2017 across the continental United States. The center-line of the solar eclipse will pass over Grand Teton National Park placing it in the path of totality. Visitors will experience the moon’s shadow rushing toward them with the Teton Range backdrop. The mid-day darkness is stunning and the sun's corona is awe-inspiring—observed only during the brief totality.
Grand Teton is anticipating its busiest day ever. On eclipse day, the park will alter traffic flow and parking to accommodate eclipse viewers and maintain safe access. The park will designate viewing areas where rangers will be on hand. Detailed event information will be available on this web page in the future.
Area lodging is already booked. All park campgrounds operate on a first-come, first-served basis and have stay limits. Few if any campsites will be available on the day of the eclipse. Backcountry permits will be extremely limited due to high demand. During the eclipse event please help us ensure a successful day by respecting park resources, following all temporary routes and packing out all litter.
What is an eclipse?
A solar eclipse is a celestial event when the moon passes between the sun and Earth blocking all or part of the sun. At a given location, the event can last up to an hour and a half. For this eclipse the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. The last total eclipse for the contiguous U.S. was in 1979, the next one will be in 2024.
At 10:17 am on Monday, August 21st, 2017 the solar eclipse will begin over Jackson Hole. At 11:35 am the moon will pass directly in front of the sun blocking out most of the sun’s light. For the next 2 minutes—the exact duration depends on your location—the Sun’s corona will be visible around the disk of the moon.
For thousands of years people learned about the sun through careful observation. Understanding the sun and seasons was critical to survival. As early as 4,000 years ago, ancient astronomers tried to predict solar eclipses in China and Greece.
More recently, scientists planned experiments during eclipses to test theories and equipment. With the sun blocked, other atmospheric features become visible. Scientists proved Einstein’s theory of relativity, and they searched for a theoretical planet Vulcan but it was proven not to exist.
In 1878, Thomas Edison and other scientists traveled to Wyoming to observe an eclipse. Edison tested his very sensitive thermometer, but it failed.
Proper eye protection is necessary to safely look directly at the sun except during eclipse totality. Severe eye injury can result without protection. Eclipse glasses are the simplest method to view the eclipse from start to finish. These are available at all park visitor centers for you to use wherever you are in the US for the eclipse.
Never look directly at the sun's rays—even if the sun is partly obscured. During the short time when the moon completely blocks the sun—the period of totality—you may look directly at the star, but you must know when to remove and replace your glasses. Remember you must be in the narrow path of totality to look at the sun without protection.
Special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers provide the only safe way to look directly at the un-eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not sufficient.
View or photograph the eclipse using your personal camera or telescope using special equipment and precautions. If you want to use personal equipment for the eclipse, please learn about the necessary techniques and equipment. Capturing a good image requires multiple exposures and correct camera settings.
Special solar filters are required on all camera lenses and telescopes during the partial phase of the eclipse. For the total phase these filters need to be removed. These steps are critical for eye safety and successful photography.