Dr. John Smetanka, vice president for academic affairs, academic dean and associate professor of physics, will provide an opportunity for area residents to join millions of Americans in witnessing the partial solar eclipse from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, in front of the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion on campus. During this time the moon will be moving directly between the Earth and the sun.
The eclipse, which will begin in Westmoreland County at 1:10 p.m. and end at 3:55 p.m. that day, will occur when the sun will be blocked by the moon. The maximum eclipse will occur at 2:35 p.m. when approximately 80 percent of the sun will be blocked.
“Safe, projected viewing opportunities will be available in the plaza,” Smetanka advised. “Eclipse glasses with special solar filters will also be available. We remind area residents to never look directly at the sun, even with normal sunglasses, since this can cause serious and permanent eye damage. To safely view the eclipse, use a pinhole projector or specially made solar filter eclipse glasses.”
In case of inclement weather, outdoor viewing will be moved into the college’s Angelo J. Taiani Planetarium.
The partial solar eclipse on Aug. 21 will be the first solar eclipse visible from the continental United States since 1972. It will be the first total solar eclipse only visible from United States soil since long before the founding of the United States.
According to NASA, only 14 states in the United States are in the path of totality and will be able to experience a total solar eclipse. These include Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The next U.S. solar eclipse will occur on April 8, 2024. Future eclipses will occur on Aug. 12, 2045, March 30, 2052, May 11, 2078, May 1, 2079, and Sept. 14, 2099.
Photo: Astronomer Dr. John Smetanka at one of Saint Vincent College’s telescopes.
Follow us on Twitter: @MySaintVincent
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/saintvincentcollege