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Penn State gearing up for 2017 solar eclipse event

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15 August 2017

On August 21, faculty and students from the Penn State Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics will be handing out hundreds of safe “eclipse glasses” for students and community members who want to see the partial solar eclipse that will be visible in central Pennsylvania. The eclipse will begin at approximately 1:15 p.m., will be close to maximum at 2:35 p.m., and will end by approximately 4:00 p.m.

This unique map shows the path of the moon’s umbral shadow—in which the sun will be completely obscured by the moon—during the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, as well as the fraction of the sun’s area covered by the moon outside the path of totality. Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio
This unique map shows the path of the moon’s umbral shadow—in which the sun will be completely obscured by the moon—during the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, as well as the fraction of the sun’s area covered by the moon outside the path of totality. Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Although University Park is not in the path of totality and will therefore not see a total solar eclipse, viewers in central Pennsylvania will see the sun just under 80% eclipsed; at the eclipse's maximum, only a crescent of the sun will be visible. Volunteers will be located at the following three sites to help everyone safely view this rare astronomical phenomenon: the rooftop observatory on top of Davey Laboratory on the University Park campus, The Arboretum at Penn State’s H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens (intersection of Park Avenue and Bigler Road), and the Mount Nittany Middle School at 656 Brandywine Drive in State College.

Because the eclipse will only be visible if skies are clear, the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics will cancel the viewing events if the skies are completely cloudy and overcast. 

Please see the department’s social media accounts on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PennStateAstronomy) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/PSUObservatory) for updates before the event.

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