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MEDIA ADVISORY – 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Events at MU

August 21st, 2017

Story Contact: Jeff Sossamon, 573-882-3346,

WHAT:  A total solar eclipse will be visible across North America on Monday, Aug. 21, with a good portion of the Midwest located in prime viewing area. It is the first total eclipse seen in the continental U.S. since 1979, and a vast swath of Missouri will be traversed by the shadow of the moon, plunging the state into darkness.

In commemoration of the eclipse, the University of Missouri will host the following selected events which are free and open to the public as indicated:

  • Odyssey Music Series, Solar Eclipse – A Celestial Celebration: The Odyssey Chamber Music Series will host a live concert. Featured works include Gustav Holst’s “Planets” and other celestially themed works. 6:45 p.m., Friday, Aug. 18, First Baptist Church, 1112 E. Broadway, Columbia. This event is open to the public.
  • Saturday Morning Science: Angela Speck, professor of astrophysics and director of astronomy in the MU Department of Physics and Astronomy, will present “Doing Science in the Dark: What Scientists Study During Eclipses.” 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center, MU campus. This event is open to the public.
  • Laws Observatory Open Hours: Laws Observatory will be open to the public 12 – 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19 and 12 – 4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 20, Physics Building, MU campus. This event is open to the public.
  • MU and Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri Concert – A Total Solar Experience: Members of the Columbia Chorale, Columbia Chamber Choir and Columbia Youth Choirs will present space-inspired works by John Williams, Ola Gjeilo and Erik Esenvalds. 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center, MU campus. This event is open to the public.
  • Knowing the Stars – The Art, Science and History of the Stars: Award-winning Mizzou alum and photographer Drew Nikonowicz will join Mizzou professors Angela Speck, Joseph Erb and Christine VanPool as they discuss what humans “know” about the night sky. 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, Monsanto Auditorium, MU campus. This event is open to the public.
  • To the Moon – Achaeological Discoveries in Ancient America: Timothy Pauketat, professor of anthropology and medieval studies and associate director for research with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, will discuss how the cycles of the sun and moon were instrumental in the rise of pre-historic Native American Civilizations in New Mexico and Missouri. 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 20, Monsanto Auditorium, MU campus. This event is open to the public.
  • Solar Eclipse Viewing Party: Students, staff and faculty are invited to the watch party sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, MSA/GPC Student Activities, and the Department of Student Life. 12:30 p.m., Mel Carnahan Quadrangle, MU Campus. This event is open to MU students, faculty and staff. Media interested in attending should RSVP to Jeff Sossamon for details at (573) 882-3346 or

WHO:  The public is invited to attend events on Friday, Aug. 18 – Sunday, Aug. 20. MU faculty, staff, students and media are invited to attend the events on Carnahan Quadrangle.

WHERE:  Various venues, MU Campus and Columbia.

WHEN:  For more information and a complete schedule, please visit: or the Mizzou event calendar at:

NOTE:  Media are invited to attend all events. For details on the watch party on Monday, Aug. 21, media representatives should contact Jeff Sossamon at (573) 882-3346 or

The University of Missouri has collected several information sheets that highlight what MU scientists, researchers and specialists will be studying and observing before, during and after the eclipse. These resources also are helpful for educators and include several experiments for home and schools. For more information, please visit: