Physics department hosting eclipse viewing party

Wondering about the best way to see the upcoming solar eclipse? Wonder no more. Grove City College’s Physics Department is hosting a viewing party that will allow spectators to watch the eclipse safely and maybe learn a little something about the rare celestial phenomenon.

Telescopes and free eclipse viewing glasses will be available, as will the College’s resident astronomer, Assistant Professor of Physics Dr. James L. Clem, from noon to 5 p.m. Monday, August 21 on the College Quad between Harbison Chapel and Crawford Hall.

“A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the sun. While a full solar eclipse will visible across a narrow swath of the continental United States known as the path of totality, which runs from Oregon to South Carolina, Grove City will experience a partial eclipse,” Clem explained.

“In a total solar eclipse, the moon covers the entire sun and only a ring of light, the corona, is visible. Here, we will see a 79 percent obscuration. In other words 79 percent of the sun’s cross section will be eclipsed,” noted Clem.

The partial eclipse begins at 1:10 p.m., it will reach its apex at 2:34 p.m. and end at 3:53 p.m., he said.

It’s important to be careful when viewing a solar eclipse. Looking directly at the sun, even at 79 percent obscuration, can lead to serious eye injury. The only safe way to look at the eclipse is through a light-filtering telescope, eclipse viewing glasses or via projection through a pinhole camera.

The last time a total solar eclipse was visible in the contiguous United States was in 1979 and the next will be on April 8, 2024, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Public parking for the viewing party is available in the College’s guest parking lot at the corner of Liberty and East Main streets.

Physics department hosting eclipse viewing party

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