August 17, 2017
On Monday, Aug. 21, Karen Schwarz, astronomer and director of West Chester University's Mather Planetarium, will host a free, public viewing party for the solar eclipse. The event takes place on the University's Academic Quad (the block bounded by South High Street, University Avenue, South Church Street and West Rosedale Avenue). A campus map indicating the viewing locations can be found here.
No tickets or reservations are necessary. The height of the eclipse is at 2:43 p.m. and the eclipse and Schwarz’s viewing party will conclude at 4 p.m.
From 1 to 4 p.m., Schwarz will have telescopes available for people to safely watch the progress of the moon as it passes between Earth and the sun. Eclipse glasses are free to the first 300 attendees beginning at 1 p.m.; there are NO eclipse glasses for sale.
Plenty of activities will help guests understand the event and learn more about our star, even if it's cloudy. Among the activities planned:
- A huge space set up as an interactive sundial to mark the shadows made before, during, and after the eclipse. Guests can trace the shadows made by the gnomon (the centerpiece) using markers.
- Spectroscopes for making rainbows without rain and learning about the visible light spectrum.
- Make and take a "solar system in your pocket."
Schwarz and science students will be on hand to answer questions and ask guests some astronomical ones as well.
The free event is rain or shine. In case of cloudy weather, activities will continue on the quad but solar viewing may not be possible. In case of rain, activities will be relocated to Ehinger Gymnasium (South Church Street at University Avenue), where a live stream of the eclipse from a different location will be shown.
Metered parking is available on streets throughout the University. Free parking is available only in lots marked for students, and on Aug. 21, no permit is needed. DO NOT park in other University lots or in visitor or other specially designated spaces.