Solar Eclipse Preparedness

Dear SMU Community,

Monday will be an extraordinary day on campus and in our surrounding region. Dallas lies within the path of totality for the upcoming total solar eclipse. During this event, the moon will completely obscure the sun for approximately four minutes, from 1:40 to 1:44 p.m. With over 400,000 visitors expected in the Metroplex, we want to remind you to be prepared and safe for this rare astronomical event.

Here are some important guidelines to keep in mind:

Viewing the Eclipse Safely

  • Do not look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Please make sure to use approved solar viewing glasses. Looking directly at the sun, even for a brief period, can cause serious eye damage or even blindness.
  • Avoid using homemade or improvised filters for viewing the sun. Only use eclipse glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.
  • You are encouraged to purchase your own approved eclipse glasses. SMU will offer a limited supply of eclipse glasses for students, faculty, and staff free of charge. They will be available Monday on a first come, first serve basis on the main quad and the plaza surrounding the Val and Frank Late Fountain, just east of Dedman Life Sciences Building.
  • Additionally, the Deason Innovation Gym will be open from 9 a.m. to noon for individuals to drop in and assemble a pinhole projector as an alternative method for safely viewing the eclipse.

Traffic Preparedness and Other Info for Drivers

  • Anticipate increased traffic on the day of the eclipse, especially on roads leading to and from campus. North Central Expressway could be especially congested.
  • Don’t wear eclipse glasses while driving. Pull over and park before looking at the eclipse. Don’t stop on highways or major thoroughfares, per TxDOT.
  • Exercise special caution with pedestrians who may be distracted and looking up at the sky.
  • Plan your commute accordingly and allow for extra travel time.
  • Consider carpooling or using public transportation if possible to reduce traffic congestion.
  • If you are driving from noon to 3 p.m., turn on your vehicle headlights while the moon is blocking the sun’s light.

Pedestrian Safety Information

  • Exercise caution when walking around campus, as there may be increased and distracted pedestrian traffic.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and watch for vehicles, especially in crowded and congested areas.
  • Follow designated pedestrian pathways and crosswalks and adhere to traffic signals and signs.

We encourage everyone to witness the solar eclipse safely. This is a unique opportunity, as the next time our region will be in the path of totality will be in 2317.