Full Build Drupal

Exploratorium Eclipse

Creating the ability to livestream eclipses to audiences worldwide for over 20 years.

Exploratorium Eclipse site on multiple devices

It was a wonderful phase of discovery, collaboration, and partnership. We wanted somebody that was going to be there to help us learn and work together, and not just throw requirements over the fence. Kanopi helped us to help ourselves, and I think that forms the best consulting relationships.

George Perry
George Perry Manager, Online Media Client Since 2021

Client Overview

Launched in 1992 — and one of the first 600 websites on the internet — Exploratorium is a public learning laboratory exploring the world through science, art, and human perception. 

Its dedicated Eclipse site live streams eclipse events to watchers worldwide. It acts as a central hub to promote viewing events, educate the public, and call attention to this fantastic experience.


Exploratorium Eclipse Mobile Gallery

The challenge

The Exploratorium main site was where most visitors would go for eclipse information, but the main site was in the process of being upgraded from Drupal 7. 

The organization wished to create and develop an immersive site section that focused specifically on the education around and live coverage of eclipses happening across North America. 

Due to the immediacy of upcoming eclipses, the new site needed to be on a newer version of Drupal (specifically D9) so eclipse visitors would have an optimal experience with a site designed specifically for these celestial events. Yet they didn’t want to lose traffic from the main site on the older Drupal version.

Additionally, the staff wanted a site that would take advantage of its vast library of videos and images and was as immersive as possible so visitors would learn about and get excited about upcoming eclipses.

The process



Wireframe of the Eclipse Home Page


Exploratorium Eclipse Sitemap

The solution

A grant from NASA made it possible to build the site using domain masking, which allowed any traffic related to eclipses to be directed to the eclipse URL on the new D9 site instead of the main D7 site. 

The client wanted a lot of movement and videos. Inspired by the in-process designs of the upcoming main site, as well as the gorgeous imagery and videos provided by the Exploratorium, Kanopi strove to create a bold yet simple design that took advantage of movement and imagery. This created a more immersive experience to better convey the awe of space. 

We also added two countdown clocks: one for the next US annular solar eclipse in October 2023, and the other for the next US total solar eclipse in April 2024. Interactive maps on the accompanying phone app give a detailed view of how the ellipses will travel.

Other highlights include multilingual capabilities for both English and Spanish as the eclipse is traveling through the United States and Mexico, and — with a strategic partner — the development of an Android and iOS app that is populated by the site’s content via an API.

Key features

Brightcove Integration

Brightcove Integration: Eclipse Videos page containing video posts with the option to view on click

In order to take advantage of the the Exploratoriums’ impressive video library, Kanopi integrated with Brightcove.

Multilingual Capabilities

Eclipse page that is translated in Spanish

Due to the eclipse also traveling through Mexico, the site was launched with multilingual capabilities in both English and Spanish in order to serve a wider audience.

Countdown Clocks

Numbers counters that synchronizes to eclipse

Two countdown clocks were built for the site: one for the 2023 US annular solar eclipse, and the other for the 2024 total solar eclipse. These can be easily modified for future eclipses

The result

Data shows that the first three months after the site was launched that the average time on the page showed solid engagement, with the most time being spent on the “how to view an eclipse” page. Additionally, a lot of visitors were entering straight through the /eclipse page.

From an institutional standpoint, the biggest win with Eclipse was that it’s the most complete translation of a full site section, and thus works as a pilot for more comprehensive multilingual content. Exploratorium staff will be evaluating the success of the multilingual content and use that data to develop a long-term strategy for what and how content is translated, as well as making the work more accessible.