NASA comes to Museum of Idaho

In this June 10, 2002, file photo, Lise Richardson, left, views a partial solar eclipse with her daughters Sophia Richardson, center left, and Samantha, 6, right, at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Destinations are hosting festivals, hotels are selling out and travelers are planning trips for the total solar eclipse that will be visible coast to coast on Aug. 21, 2017. A narrow path of the United States 60 to 70 miles wide from Oregon to South Carolina will experience total darkness, also known as totality. (AP Photo/Krista Niles, File)

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration is working with the Museum of Idaho to put on a variety of educational events ahead of the August eclipse.

The Museum of Idaho is working to install a NASA exhibit called “Space: A Journey to our Future,” which was most recently shown in the Gerald Ford Museum in Michigan.

“This extraordinary exhibit gives audiences an opportunity to experience our past explorations and future destiny in space,” the museum describes the coming exhibit on its web page. “Visitors to the exhibit are reminded that only through dreaming and exploration can we truly begin to live as inhabitants of this universe in which we find ourselves adrift.”

And in the days leading up to the eclipse, there will be a variety of speakers from NASA and other scientific and education institutions.

Speakers will include James Green, director of planetary science at NASA; Carter Emmart, director of astrovisualization at the American Museum of National History; and Randii Wessen and Kevin Hussey of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The speakers will give presentations on space exploration, visualizing astronomical phenomena, the solar system and the future of space exploration. Several are planned to be held in conjunction with the museum’s exhibit, and there also is a speaker series planned for the Colonial Theater.

NASA also will host a televised educational event for those interested in viewing the eclipse around the nation on July 21. Broadcast from the Newseum in Washington, D.C., the event will go over a variety of methods for viewing the eclipse. The event can be seen on the NASA Channel on cable or streaming online.

There is risk of serious eye injury from looking at the event directly without special glasses, but there are other means of safely viewing the progress of the eclipse such as constructing a viewing box or camera obscura. The Museum of Idaho will hold classes between Aug. 8 and Aug. 20 to show eclipse viewers how they can build such a contraption themselves.

Reporter Bryan Clark can be reached at 542-6751.