Everyone is excited for the first day of classes and a chance to see a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse happening right overhead from 2-3:30 pm today. UCF will host a viewing event during that time in front of Millican Hall and the Reflecting Pond.

The forecast has changed and there is a 30 percent chance of rain throughout the event.  Please be patient because the telescopes can’t operate in the rain, so rain may delay our start time. Check back here, on Facebook or Twitter for updates should the event be delayed or canceled because of the weather.

Remember, parking will be limited today because it is first day of classes, so plan accordingly. There is no free parking. A limited supply of solar glasses will be available at no cost at the event, first come, first serve. We encourage you to share.

This is Florida, so expect it to be hot. We suggest bringing water, sunblock and a hat.


The chance to see the Sun’s true beauty during Monday’s solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it’s important to balance that excitement with safety precautions.

It will be the deepest solar eclipse visible from UCF in more than 47 years, and UCF’s Planetary Sciences Group and the College of Sciences will host a viewing party at the Reflecting Pond from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

A limited supply of special eclipse glasses will be available at UCF’s event, along with two telescopes that will allow attendees to safely see the eclipse. The event coincides with the first day of school. Traffic will be heavy and parking will be limited. Temperatures are also expected to be  in the high 80s, so those planning to attend should bring plenty of water, sunblock, hats and patience. Should it rain, the event will be canceled.

Whether at UCF or viewing the eclipse from another location, it’s never safe to stare directly into the sun, experts say. It’s important to use eclipse glasses or take other precautions to avoid eye damage.

“In Central Florida, about 85 percent of the Sun will be blocked when the eclipse is deepest, but even then, that still leaves a lot of bright Sun, way more than unprotected or improperly-protected eyes can handle,” said  Yan Fernandez, an associate professor in the Physics department and Director of the Robinson Observatory. “It’s important to protect your eyes the entire way through the eclipse if you watch it on Monday.”

Regular household items also can be used to make a pinhole camera, which is another way to safely view the eclipse. A how-to video featuring UCF planetary sciences students can be viewed here.

For more information about UCF’s event, which is free and open to the public, contact planets@physics.ucf.edu.

More details about the eclipse can be found at https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/.