Your Guide to Lunar and Solar Eclipses

Lunar and solar eclipses are some of the most captivating celestial events. At Under Canvas, we’re here to help you experience the night (and day) sky like never before —with star parties, specialty food and drinks, and celestial-themed programming at some of the world’s best night sky destinations. Read on to learn all about this year’s celestial events and where to enjoy this out-of-this-world experience.

What is a Lunar and Solar Eclipse?

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth blocks the sun’s light from reaching the moon, while a solar eclipse happens when the moon obstructs or partially veils the sun’s luminance. Join us at Under Canvas to experience both of these  celestial events with special eclipse celebrations and viewing parties.

Lunar Eclipse: During a lunar eclipse, the Earth moves between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun’s light from reaching the moon. This results in the moon appearing dim and often taking on a reddish hue—a phenomenon referred to as a “blood moon.”

Solar Eclipse: A solar eclipse occurs when the moon positions itself between the Earth and the sun, partially or completely obscuring the sun’s light. During a solar eclipse, the sky will look like its dawn or dusk. The stunning view of the sun’s corona emerging from behind the moon’s silhouette captivates viewers worldwide.

2024 Solar Eclipse

Mark your calendars for April 8th, 2024, as a breathtaking celestial event unfolds: a total solar eclipse. This extraordinary phenomenon will cross over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. This will be the only opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse from the contiguous United States until 2044, making it a truly remarkable and rare experience!

Weather permitting, viewers along the path of totality will see the Sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by the bright face of the Sun. The eclipse will be partially viewable from two Under Canvas camps, as it will be at an 89% partial solar eclipse at Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains and a 60% partial solar eclipse at Under Canvas Moab.

To celebrate the eclipse, we’ve curated a selection of celestial-themed events at several of our locations. For example, at Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains, you can indulge in a solar eclipse-themed breakfast, join us for a viewing party in the afternoon, and enjoy night sky trivia games in the evening. With a day packed full of excitement, we’re ready to make this solar eclipse an unforgettable experience!

How to Best View A Solar or Lunar Eclipse

Witnessing a lunar or solar eclipse is an unforgettable experience, but it requires proper planning and precautions to ensure safety and enjoyment:

Protect Your Eyes: It’s crucial to use specially designed solar viewing glasses or eclipse viewers to protect your eyes when observing a solar eclipse. Never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains and Under Canvas Moab will provide solar eclipse glasses for you to wear during these events!

Find a Prime Viewing Location: Seek out a location with minimal light pollution and a clear view of the sky to maximize your eclipse viewing experience. Five Under Canvas locations are DarkSky certified, providing the perfect backdrop for these celestial spectacles.

Make a Pinhole Projector: An easy method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed Sun is to make a pinhole projector. With the Sun behind you, pass sunlight through a small opening and project a solar image onto a nearby surface. A pasta colander makes a terrific pinhole projector, as does a straw hat or anything else with a bunch of small holes in it.

See the Eclipse Through Leaves: If you look at the ground beneath a leafy tree, you’ll be able to see shadows from the solar eclipse! When the sunlight filters through the leaves, the eclipse casts crescent-shaped shadows on the ground, resembling miniature moons.

Exclusive Celestial Events

At Under Canvas, we’re passionate about connecting people with the natural world and providing unparalleled opportunities to experience the beauty of our planet and beyond. Keep an eye on our celestial events calendar for upcoming lunar and solar eclipses activities, as well as other astronomical events, celebrated at each of our camp locations. From eclipse viewing parties and trivia to celestial themed cocktails and guided star hikes, there is never a shortage of activities to experience these cosmic events!

Where to Watch an Eclipse

Whether you’re an avid stargazer or a casual observer, there’s something magical about witnessing solar eclipses and lunar eclipses at Under Canvas. Sit back, relax, and revel in the wonders of the cosmos only steps away from your upscale, safari-inspired accommodations. As the first DarkSky-Certified Lodging in the world, Under Canvas provides unparalleled views of the night sky due to the remote locations and commitment to reduced light pollution of Under Canvas.


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