Several spots in South Florida to host solar eclipse watch parties

MIAMI (WSVN) - We’re just days away from the long-awaited solar eclipse, and there are plenty of South Florida spots to get the perfect view of the sight in the sky.

From colleges to museums, several South Florida locations will give residents the chance to see the solar eclipse safely on Monday.

Florida International University is celebrating the first full U.S. solar eclipse in 99 years, which is set to start around noon, Monday. You can join faculty and staff at their on-campus observatory — the Stocker Astroscience Center in West Miami-Dade.

There, you can check out their solar telescopes, talk about the eclipse and enjoy some music.

“We will have about 100 pairs of solar glasses that you can borrow and look at the sun with. We will also have solar telescopes set up, so you can see through our telescopic view,” said Dr. James Webb, FIU astrophysics professor, “so it’s going to be a good time. We’ll have music, information and we’ll have a solar eclipse party.”

The Frost Museum is also gearing up for one of the biggest events of the summer.

“It’s the first time in 99 years that a solar eclipse is going to cross the USA, all the way from the West Coast to the East Coast,” said Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego, Science Curator of Astronomy at the Frost Museum.

Experts will be on hand to make sure you’re watching the sun safely with their viewing glasses and through solar telescopes.

And they will be live streaming NASA’s eclipse mega-cast.

“Of course we planned an event of astronomical proportions. The museum will have a viewing party, and we will have a few of our telescopes out to look safely at the sun through our telescopes,” Perez-Gallego said, “and we’ll have solar glasses. We’ll be giving solar glasses to our guests.”

And across county lines, Broward College is having a free event open to the public at the Buehler Planetarium and Observatory on Central Campus in Davie.

“Here at the observatory, some wonderful volunteers and myself will be out on our observing patio all afternoon,” said Buehler Planetarium director Susan Barnette. “We will have telescopes with appropriate filters. We will have welder’s glass people can use under our supervision to make sure you are using them safely and a few pairs of glasses.”

They are kicking off the event at 1:15 p.m. but make sure to get there early because it is the first day of school.

Visitors are also welcomed at Fox Astronomical Observatory in Markham Park. They’ll be open from noon to 5 p.m.

Entrance to the park and the observatory are free, but make sure to bring the proper eye wear.

“We do have a camera hooked up to one of our telescopes, and we’re going to live stream through the Science Museum in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, and we’re going to be live streaming to the libraries of Broward County,” said Nikole Bosch, a volunteer.

Miami-Dade libraries will be hosting events across the county, including Coral Gables. They have a limited supply of safety glasses, so don’t forget to reserve your spot.

Make sure to check out the library closest to you for special eclipse-related events.

“We will be streaming NASA’s live stream here in the auditorium of the actual eclipse,” said Miami-Dade Public Libraries representative Leila Khalil. “We’ll go outside to the gardens, weather permitting.”

If you choose to stay home, you can catch our special live coverage of the eclipse. It begins Monday at 1 p.m., right after 7News at noon.

And while Miami-Dade and Broward public schools are holding regularly scheduled classes on Monday, district officials in Broward have said that if parents want to keep their child home, it will be considered as an excused absence.

Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.