2017 Solar Eclipse

Ranger wearing eclipse glasses
Do not look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Purchase eclipse glasses or solar-viewers ahead of time.

NPS / Neal Herbert

 

Between 10:15 am and 1 pm on August 21, 2017, a partial solar eclipse will be visible throughout Yellowstone. The full eclipse can only be seen in a narrow band stretching across the country that includes areas south of the park. To find out if the eclipse will be visible for your location, check out NASA's Eclipse site.

Watching in Yellowstone

We expect heavier-than-normal visitation on the day of the eclipse, as well as on the days leading up to and after it. The South Entrance is expected to be especially busy. If you plan to visit during this time, please pack your patience, give yourself plenty of time to travel to and from your destination, and be sure to read our Eclipse FAQs about enjoying this event in Yellowstone.

Please note that roadside parking will be prohibited during the eclipse. Parking is available at pullouts and parking lots. Do not block traffic. Vehicles blocking traffic flow or access to emergency vehicles will be towed and ticketed. Help keep the air clean by not idling your car.

Read more about witnessing the eclipse in Yellowstone.

Safe Viewing

Proper eye protection is necessary to safely look directly at the sun. Purchase your approved eclipse glasses or solar-viewers ahead of time (available in general stores and bookstores). Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not sufficient. Even in the partial darkness of an eclipse, the sun’s rays can cause severe eye injury without proper protection. Young children should be supervised very carefully. Cameras, telescopes, binoculars, or other optical devices require additional solar filters. Learn more about eclipse safety.

 
Roads and Parking
  • Roadside parking will be prohibited.
  • Parking is available at pullouts and parking lots.
  • Do not block traffic. Vehicles blocking traffic flow or access to emergency vehicles will be towed and ticketed.
  • Park staff will be stationed at popular attractions, entrances and congested road junctions to provide visitor information and manage traffic.
  • Restrooms are available at all visitor centers, most picnic areas and elsewhere throughout the park.
  • All park waters designated for watercraft use are open during the eclipse. Park boat permits and AIS stickers are required.

Communication
  • Electronic information signs will be located along roadways to communicate traffic and road information.
  • Get up-to-date road conditions online and by phone at (307) 344-2117.
  • Due to the volume of users during the eclipse, cell phone coverage and internet service may not work.
  • Park information will be shared at visitor centers and entrance stations, as well as the park’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Emergency
  • Emergency? Call 911. All emergency requests will be prioritized and responded to as quickly as feasible.
  • Anticipate potentially longer emergency services response times due to eclipse-related traffic congestion.
  • The park plans to have additional law enforcement and emergency services personnel to manage the event.

Green & Clean
  • Bear-resistant trash and recycle containers are available throughout the park.
  • On eclipse day, consider packing out your recyclables and trash.
  • Keep the air clean by not idling your car.

Safe Viewing
  • Bring appropriate eclipse viewing glasses (available in park lodges, general stores, and bookstores) and solar filters for cameras, binoculars, or telescopes.
 
 

Photography

Photographing the eclipse requires special solar filters to control exposure and prevent damage to your eyes. If you want to take pictures of the eclipse, learn about the techniques and equipment required for those shots.

 

What is an eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and earth, blocking all or part of the sun. Depending on where you are, an eclipse can last up to an hour and a half. The last total eclipse visible from the United States was in 1979. The next one will be in 2024.

 
 

History

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.

 

Last updated: August 15, 2017

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

(307) 344-7381

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