The Great American Solar Eclipse

August 21, 2017

The WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy and WVU Extension, with the help of the Green Bank Observatory and the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, are bringing the Great American Eclipse to West Virginia! Our intention is for this page to be a "one-stop shop" for West Virginians. There are a lot of eclipse resources out there, but we have picked the ones that we think are most relevant to the Mountain State. Much of the content in our videos comes from these websites below. Feel free to browse on your own, too!

NASA Eclipse Resources
Astronomical Society of the Pacific Eclipse Resources
NASA Balloon Project Live Stream
Great American
American Eclipse

What is The Great American Eclipse?

The August 21st, 2017 solar eclipse has been named “The Great American Eclipse” because it can be seen across the entire continental United States. This is the first total solar eclipse visible in the US during the 21st century, and the next one is still over 7 years away. Though totality, when the moon completely covers the sun and causes temporary darkness, can only be seen in a few narrow bands outside of West Virginia, we will still be able to experience up to 90% coverage of the Sun by the Moon. The last time we had this opportunity here in WV was 1994 – and the next won’t be until 2024!

Eclipse Path

What are we going to do?

Throughout the summer, the WVU Physics & Astronomy Department and WVU Extension are teaming up to teach West Virginia youth how to share this historic event with their friends and families right in their very own communities. To make this experience available to kids all over the state, we’ll be:

Creating and distributing eclipse glasses to 6th graders, 4-H campers, and community members to allow them to engage with this science experience without any cost or travel – they just need to look up!
Visiting local schools to talk about the eclipse and making educational material available to teachers and their classrooms
Working with 4-H STEM Ambassadors to train 4-H camping volunteers and provide “Summer Science Experiment” kits to over 100 4-H camps
Hosting a pre-eclipse event on Saturday, August 19th from 9am-12pm at the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy (White Hall) where participants will receive “passports” that take them on a self-guided learning adventure full of mini-lectures, hands-on activities, planetarium shows, and rooftop observing. Our friends from the Spark! Imagination and Discovery Center will be helping us with a eclipse solar corona art project!

WVU Eclipse Glasses

For Teachers

Request FREE eclipse glasses for your students! Fill out this form to request glasses and to participate in our self-paced professional development to prepare. We will give priority to 6th grade, since eclipses are listed in the 6th grade State Science Standard S.6.ESS.1 to “develop and use a model of the Earth-sun- moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.” Secondary priority will be given to 7th and 8th grades, then any grade first-come-first-served until we reach the end of our supply.

Want us to visit you? Request for a trained ambassador from the WV Science Public Outreach Team (SPOT)!


1. What is an eclipse?

What is an eclipse video (coming soon)
What is an eclipse powerpoint (coming soon)
Activity: Sizing Up the Moon
Activity: Scale Model of the Sun and Earth

2. Eclipse-viewing safety

Safety video (coming soon)
Safety powerpoint (coming soon)
Glasses Request Form
Pinhole postcard

3. Eclipse Hands-On Activities and Demonstrations

Activities video (coming soon)
Activities powerpoint (coming soon)
Activity: NISE Create Your Own Eclipse and Facilitator Guide
Activity: ASP Why do Eclipses Happen?
Activity: Dimensions of the Sun (4-H Summer Science Experiment)

4. All about the Sun and Space Weather Research in West Virginia

Sun and Space Weather video (coming soon)
Sun and Space Weather powerpoint (coming soon)

5. Actions Plans - Preparing Your Students and Community

Action Plan video (coming soon)
Action Plan powerpoint (coming soon)
Science Public Outreach Team (SPOT)
Eclipse 2017 WV Facebook Group
Reporting Form: Printable Copy and Online Form

Other fun links:

3D printable WV-shaped pinhole projector
EclipseMob Project
Eclipse MegaMovie Project