Witness the Summer solstice at HMNS The Cockrell Sundial reveals the Sun's surface features


WHAT: On each solstice, the Cockrell Sundial becomes a solar observatory. When the Sun is highest in the sky, sunlight passes through tiny projection lenses in the ball atop the sundial and project the Sun's image on a paper held several feet above the sundial floor. If there are any sunspots, visitors are able to see them directly. Join us, Sunday, June 21 on the sundial for the Summer Solstice from 1-1:45 p.m. This event is free to the public.

Before or after viewing the solstice, visitors can also visit the Burke Baker Planetarium and explore life in the universe through various planetarium shows including The Great Planet Adventures and Passport to the Universe (ticket required).

WHO: Astronomy Experts:

James Wooten, Planetarium Astronomer and Dr. Carolyn Sumners, VP of Astronomy, are available to explain this phenomenon and the celestial significance of solstices now through Sunday, June 21.

WHEN: Summer Solstice Event:

Sunday, June 21, 1-1:45 p.m.

WHERE: HoustonMuseum of Natural Science

5555 Hermann Park Dr., 77030

HOW: Contact David Kelly at (713) 639-4722 or Melodie Wade at 713-639-4743, or come to Museum Services for assistance.

WHY: For thousands of years, civilizations have designed monuments to celebrate the Sun's solstices, and the Museum's Cockrell Sundial continues this tradition. This unique event happens only on sunny days near the equinoxes and solstices when the sun is highest in the sky. Photograph or film visitors viewing the sun and its features directly, without the use of sophisticated equipment.


The Houston Museum of Natural Science-one of the nation's most heavily attended museums-is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, and the Giant Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium and George Observatory and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Museum has something to delight every age group. With such diverse and extraordinary offerings, a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, located at 5555 Hermann Park Drive in the heart of the Museum District, is always an adventure.

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