Houston-area solar eclipse viewing parties

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Where are you going to watch the solar eclipse on Aug. 21? The Houston area will not get a total eclipse. The sun will be just around 67 percent covered. There will be several major viewing events. 

”I am excited," says Martesia Hayes. "I've never seen one before and to see it in my lifetime, that would be cool.” 

The eclipse is coming on Monday afternoon.  

"The moon will begin to cover the sun at 11:46 a.m.," explains Ken Hayes with the Houston Museum of Natural Science. "Maximum coverage is at 1:16 p.m.  By 2:45 p.m., it will all be over.” 

Most eclipse watch parties in the Houston area kick off on Monday at 11 a.m.  Where will you watch? 

”My son and I are going to go out there to Austin and hang out at Lake Travis and check it out,” says Joaquin Medellin.

You don't have to leave the Houston area to see the eclipse. The Houston Museum of Natural Science will have specially-rigged telescopes.

”Normally, the last thing you would want to do is aim a telescope at the sun and look through the eyepiece -- that's guaranteed you will damage your eyes, so we've created these viewing screens to put over the eyepiece,” adds Hayes.

There will also be pinhole projectors. 

”You look through here and an image of the eclipse will be projected on the back of the box,” says Hayes. "You can even slide your cell phone into the projector and take a picture of the eclipse."

”In our observatory, we're going to be taking footage of the eclipse using our large telescope,” says Fre’Etta Brooks, president of the Astronomy Society at the University of Houston. The campus will have plenty of parties going on to view the eclipse on Monday. The events will take place near the Science and Research Building One. 

“I really want people to come out and experience this," adds Brooks with a smile. "We don't have solar eclipses every day.”

There will also be eclipse watch parties on Monday at the Children’s Museum of Houston, Levy Park and Hermann Park. The Texas Seaport Museum's Ship Elissa is also a really cool spot to see the eclipse. Wherever you choose to enjoy the eclipse, remember to protect your eyes.

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