April 1, 2024

West Chester University to Host a Solar Eclipse Viewing Event

solar eclipse flyerBarring April showers, West Chester University’s Mather Planetarium will host a free public viewing of the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. on South Campus at the S lot parking lot (850 South New Street, West Chester, across from the tennis courts). Free parking will be available in Q lot below Farrell Stadium (855 South New Street).

The first 750 people on site will get eclipse glasses, which are necessary to avoid eye damage when viewing the eclipse since it is unsafe to look directly at the sun. Telescopes will also be set up for safe solar viewing.

“On the day of the eclipse depending on where you are, if it’s cloudy the eclipse won’t be noticeable,” says Karen Schwarz, WCU professor of earth and space science and director of the Mather Planetarium. “If the weather is clear, the temperature may feel a little cooler than usual during the eclipse. Temperature changes will be more noticeable than light pattern changes.”

In West Chester, the moon will begin to move in front of the sun at 2:06 p.m. At 3:22 p.m., the sun will be 90 percent covered – as good as it’s going to get for our location. The eclipse will end at 4:35p.m. This will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the continental United States until 2044.

Schwarz is facilitating the event with Marc Gagné, professor and assistant chair of the earth and space science department. Students from that department as well as some from the Astronomy Club are volunteering at the event and will staff tables that will offer activities for all ages.

In the case of cloudy or inclement weather, the event will be cancelled. Check the Mather Planetarium website or Facebook page the day of the event for updates.

Visit the Mather Planetarium website for additional information.


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