Eclipse 2017 - Schedule

Total Eclipse 8-21-2017

“Total Eclipse of the Heartland” August 21, 2017


Sunday, August 20

UPDATE: The stadium is now entirely sold out for this event. We cannot accept any more visitors to the campus on this day. If you are visiting campus, check below for all the events and activities taking place on this great day!

(The speakers from the Vatican Observatory and the eclipse itself will be recorded, however, the videos will not be posted until later.)


  • 6:00 p.m. – Medal Ceremony at the Daglen Observatory - following a longstanding tradition, a blessed Medal of St. Benedict will be placed in the foundation of the new Daglen Observatory. For this building, a blessed Medal of St. Dominic, the patron saint of astronomers, will also be placed in the foundation.
  • 7:00 p.m. – Presentation in the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium by Fr. Christopher Corbally SJ, president of the National Committee for Astronomy for the Vatican. His presentation, "Taking Science Seriously and Talking to God," will be on the history of astronomy, the sciences and the Church.

  • 8:00 p.m. - After the presentation, there will be a reception in the Monte Cassino Inn inside the Haverty Center. The Vatican Observatory Astronomers will be available to meet and greet for a while.


Monday, August 21


NOTE: There is no general parking on campus on August 21. A limited amount of Reserved Handicapped Parking will be available on campus. All other attendees will have to find parking on the side streets in town. The City of Atchison will close Second Street between Division St. and Harper Dr. beginning at 8:00 a.m. on August 21. Access to campus will be extremely restricted most of the day.

PARKING UPDATE: We have secured a large parking area north of the Benedictine Campus on Second Street at 298th Road at the Riverbend International School. Since you will not be able to drive directly up Second Street, it will be best to travel north up 6th Street or 7th Street to Harper Dr. and then turn right and go back to Second St. and proceed north to the parking area. We will have a shuttle running to bring people to the campus.


UPDATE: This event is now entirely sold out. We cannot accept any more visitors to the campus on this day.

7:15 a.m. - The Benedictine College Dining Hall opens for breakfast (more information is available on the viewing details page) The Benedictine College Dining Hall will be open to the general public and will operate continuously all day for guests to have a meal. (Cash and Credit welcome.) The Stadium Concession Stand will be available for limited food and drinks. The Practice Football Field above the stadium will have a few food vendors (pizza, nachos, pulled pork and homemade pie). (VENDORS ARE CASH ONLY).

  • 8:15 a.m. – Mass at St. Benedict Parish Church
  • 9:00 a.m. – Presentation in the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium by Fr. Paul Gabor SJ, vice director for the Vatican Observatory Research Group. His talk, "Babylonians and the Leap Second: Precision Measurements of Earth's Rotation Rate," will cover the history of eclipses and how records spanning millennia have yielded other scientific advances.
  • 9:30 a.m. – Gates to Wilcox Stadium open
  • 10:00 a.m. – Mass at St. Benedict's Abbey Church
  • 10:00 a.m. – Events at the stadium begin (face painting, frisbee, water balloon toss, social media booth, and Lucid Intervals, the faculty band.)
  • 11:40 a.m. – The partial phase of the eclipse begins. NOTE: It is never safe to look directly at the sun with the naked eye, especially during the partial phase. It is only safe to look at the sun during totality. Regarding Photography: Taking pictures of the sun at any point before or after totality will damage the sensors in your cameras, just like it will damage the retinas in your eyes. Be sure to fit your camera with a solar filter before attempting to take pictures.

    Wilcox Stadium is situated perfectly to be able to sit back and observe the eclipse in comfort, sitting in the stands. There will be concessions available and a stage will feature music and informative presentations from professional astronomers.

    Solar glasses will be supplied and telescopes with solar filters will be available.
    Solar glasses will be given out for free as long as supplies last (first 7,500). The glasses are from Halo, an approved vendor from the American Astronomical Society. That means these glasses have been verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY THAT YOU WEAR THESE GLASSES! It is never safe to look directly at the sun with the naked eye, BUT ESPECIALLY SO during the partial phase. It is only safe to look at the sun during totality.

    NOTE: All seats in the stadium and surrounding fields are now filled. This event is completely sold out and we can no longer accept additional visitors for this day.

  • 1:06 p.m. – Totality begins.
    Atchison will be bathed in darkness as the sun’s disk is entirely obscured by the moon. The darkness will last for 2 minutes and 19 seconds. This is the only time it will be safe to view the eclipse without solar glasses.
  • 2:34 p.m. – The partial phase of the eclipse ends.
  • 2:45 p.m. – The Amelia Earhart Airport will host a concert at its facility outside of Atchison at the conclusion of the eclipse.
  • 5:30 p.m. Mass in St. Benedict's Abbey
  • 7:00 p.m. – Benedictine College Dining Hall closes.
  • 7:30 p.m. – Celestial Concert by the Benedictine College Music Department in the Abbey Church. This is the concluding event for the day.