Solar Eclipse 2017: A Chicagoan’s guide

Don’t worry — it’s just an astronomical phenomenon.

If you go

Where: Adler Planetarium

When: March 25, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018

Check here for more information.

Sure, Chicago hasn’t been this close to the path of totality for a solar eclipse since 1806. But, when you get right down to it, all this means is that the moon will cover up 90 percent of Chicago’s sunshine during lunchtime on Aug. 21.

Psych! This solar eclipse is a huge deal. Eclipses like this one have helped to unveil the secrets of the universe throughout history. This eclipse is predicted to possibly be the most viewed total solar eclipse ever because its path lines so many major highways and cities (beginning at 11:54 a.m. central time, to be exact.) And the fact that we Chicagoans get to witness it is pretty radically cool.

So how do you seize this (partially darkened) day and make it a learning experience for your kids?

Enter Adler Planetarium.

Adler will have a massive watch party for the eclipse day-of—complete with awesomely nerdy solar eclipse glasses—but before then, you can moonwalk over to the world-class museum for a look at the “Chasing Eclipses” temporary exhibit March 25-Jan. 7.

The exhibit illustrates what a solar eclipse is, simulates the eerie experience of an eclipse and explains how eclipses have altered our understanding about our place in the universe over time.

Our favorite part? The out-of-this-world Community Design Lab where kids and adults alike can participate in hands-on astronomy crafts such as DIY solar phone filters, pinhole eclipse projectors and more.

Now for the real astro-nuts who want to legit chase the eclipse, Carbondale is the road trip that’ll make you starry-eyed. It’s the location where totality will occur for the greatest duration — an entire 2:40 minutes of moon shadow fun.

Get ready for goose bumps — this solar eclipse is going to be a whole lot of other-worldly weirdness. And after visiting Adler’s “Chasing Eclipses,” we can’t wait.

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