Grand Rapids Public Museum and Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association Host Information Session on 2017 Total Eclipse

Join the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) and the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association (GRAAA) for special information on what people in West Michigan can do for the 2017 total solar eclipse. Information will be shared at the GRAAA Annual meeting onThursday, November 17 in the Meijer Theater at the GRPM.

On Monday, August 21, 2017, the first significant total eclipse of the sun visible across a broad area of the continental United States since 1970 will take place midday. As the moon slips between the earth and sun, observers within the 70 mile wide band of the total eclipse, stretching from Oregon to South Carolina, will witness complete darkness for up to two minutes and forty seconds.

At the November 17 meeting, Dave DeBruyn, Curator Emeritus of the GRPM’s Chaffee Planetarium and current GRAAA President, will discuss how the motions of the sun and moon produce eclipses, but rarely total solar eclipses over a given location. He will familiarize potential observers about what to look for and concentrate on during the eclipse, and what not to do. Dave has traveled the world to see five total solar eclipses.

WZZM Meteorologist George Lessens will discuss prospects for clear weather at various places along the path of totality. A weather system at the place of observation at eclipse time or midday convective cloudiness in the air could ruin viewing opportunities. Lessens will suggest locations where that is least likely to happen.

Both DeBruyn and Lessens will give useful tips to potential eclipse chasers, and answer questions. There will also be information about potential eclipse excursions and still available accommodations in and near the eclipse path. The duo will also share information about the GRPM’s Eclipse Event that will take place at the GRPM on August 21, 2017.

The presentation on November 17 is free to attend and open to the general public.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is an invaluable, publicly-owned institution that is home to more than 250,000 unique artifacts that tell the history of Kent County and beyond, houses the only planetarium in the region, and is responsible for protecting the Norton Indian Mounds, a national historic landmark. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, with its main location in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees and exhibit/event listings, please visit