MOSI preps for Bay area eclipse celebration – Bay News 9

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TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry is hosting a special celebration for the upcoming solar eclipse.

Even with the eclipse being a partial event from the Bay area’s viewing points, MOSI officials are fully prepared to enjoy the event that won’t be this close to Tampa Bay for another 20 years.

What You Need To Know

On April 8, the moon’s path will completely cover the face of the sun, blocking the sun’s light and darkening the sky as if it were early in the morning or late in the evening. The last time this type of eclipse took place over the U.S. was in August 2017

 Millions of people across North America will be able to see the eclipse, in parts of Mexico, the United States, and Canada. In the U.S., it will begin in Texas at 1:23 p.m. Eastern Time and end in Maine at 4:40 p.m.

The width of the “path of totality,” where the moon will totally block the sun, ranges between 62 and 71 miles.

While Florida is not in the path of totality, viewers in Tampa Bay who safely observe the eclipse will see a dramatic sight, with the moon blocking about 60% of the sun’s solar disk.

“A total solar eclipse is a rare astronomical event, and we don’t want the Tampa Bay community to miss it,” said John Graydon Smith, MOSI CEO. “So we’re rolling up our sleeves to create a fun event where you can safely witness the eclipse, learn about what makes it happen, and leave with a memory that’ll stick with you.”

MOSI will host the Solar Eclipse Celebration in its outdoor Science Park on Monday, April 8, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event is included with MOSI admission. 

Out-of-this-world MOSI activities include:

  • Sun-safe solar telescopes in Science Park, giving guests an up-close look at the eclipse, guided by MOSI astronomers

  • Hands-on eclipse activities staffed by MOSI educators in the Primary Colors Amphitheatre

  • Eclipse viewing in Science Park, where guests can view the eclipse with glasses that can be purchased from MOSI for $5

  • Worldwide live streams of the eclipse from 1:30–4:00 p.m., with televisions showing the live eclipse view from across North America

How to View Safely

It is never safe to look directly at the sun—even during an eclipse—without appropriate safety gear.

José Cotayo, an Education Specialist at MOSI, said: “Regular sunglasses are not enough to protect your eyes for direct solar viewing. You must use eclipse glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 standard or a welder’s mask that is shade #12 and is free of lens scratches.”

According to, proper eye wear is key to viewing the event.

These specialized glasses protect the eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, including infrared and ultraviolet light. Failure to use proper eye protection during a solar eclipse can lead to serious eye damage, including permanent blindness. Therefore, wearing ISO-12321-2(E:2015) certified glasses is imperative for safe viewing.

Where to Buy Solar Eclipse Glasses

To conveniently purchase solar eclipse glasses for the upcoming event, consider the following options:

Online Shops:

Local Retailers:

  • Check local astronomy stores, science museums, or optometry shops in Tampa for solar eclipse glasses. These establishments often carry eclipse viewing gear to cater to astronomical events.

  • If specific local retailers are not available, consider visiting large retail chains, outdoor recreation stores, or specialty optical shops in the area. They may carry eclipse glasses, especially around significant astronomical events like solar eclipses.

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