What to Watch Before and After the Solar Eclipse

August 11, 2017

On August 21, America’s eyes will be glued to the skies as the mainland United States experiences the first total solar eclipse since 1979, and the first to cross the USA in 99 years. Beginning at 1:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, a lunar shadow 73 miles wide will take one hour and 33 minutes to travel from Oregon on the west coast to South Carolina on the east, allowing continuous observation for 90 minutes. This extraordinary cosmic spectacle will pass through 13 states, making it the most widely viewed American eclipse of all time.

Watch This Before the Solar Eclipse

Grab your viewing glasses and get ready for the solar eclipse with SciTech Now, WNET’s weekly science and technology series. On Monday, August 21, correspondent Maddie Orton will go live at 2:20 PM on Facebook to share some important eclipse-viewing safety information and fun facts, and talk to folks in Central Park who are anxiously awaiting the eclipse. SciTech Now will sign off minutes before the 2:44pm peak eclipse time so that you can get outside and see it for yourself!

Here’s a quick animation that illustrates what will happen in the sky and across the country on August 21 during the eclipse:

Watch This After the Solar Eclipse

Nova: Eclipse Over America


NOVA, PBS’s award-winning science series, will capture the spectacular event in Eclipse Over America (Monday, August 21, 9 pm), a special presentation that will air hours after the eclipse takes place, giving public media audiences an in-depth, close-up look at this must-see celestial event.

Eclipse Over America will follow teams working on the forefront of solar science and solar storm detection, using immersive CGI animation to reveal the sun’s secret mechanisms and integrating stunning sequences of the eclipse itself, with scenes filmed at iconic locations along the path of the eclipse, NASA footage, and more.

More Fun in Space

The Farthest


We continue our deep dive into the fascinating world of space exploration with The Farthest (Wednesday, August 23, 9 pm), celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first Voyager launch. Personal stories from original and current mission scientists, engineers, and team members illustrate how these epic NASA missions revolutionized our understanding of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and their dazzling moons and rings, and ushered humanity into the interstellar age.

SciTech Now Episodes

SciTech Now (Saturdays, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.) gets cosmic as host Hari Sreenivasan sits down with Mike Massimino, former NASA astronaut and author of Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (Aug 12). Lighting science expert Fred Maxik, discusses special light bulbs that are helping astronauts aboard the International Space Station combat insomnia (August 19). And science reporter Dave Mosher reveals what it’s like to cover a total solar eclipse from an airplane flying over the North Pole (August 26).

Back to Bortron 7

Kids can take flight with Back to Bortron 7 (Monday, August 14, 2:30 p.m.), a one-hour special from the popular PBS KIDS series Ready Jet Go! When Jet’s parents need to return to their home planet, Sean and Sydney join the Propulsion family on an epic adventure to Bortron 7.

Teachers can enjoy a variety of classroom-ready resources to teach students about earth and space. Go to pbslearningmedia.org and search for “earth and space science” for educational content provided by WNET.