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SSC to host eclipse viewing event

Eclipse-e.jpgA total solar eclipse will be visible in the continental United States Aug. 21.  A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, thus partially (or completely) obscuring the disk of the Sun for several minutes.

Approximately every 18 months, a total eclipse occurs and is visible from some portion of the Earth: on average, a particular spot on Earth experiences a total solar eclipse once in approximately every 360 years. The path of totality for this eclipse will proceed roughly diagonally from the northwest through the southeast corners of the contiguous United States: certain locations in the Atlantic and the Pacific will observe totality as well. While all of the contiguous United States will observe an eclipse and see at least a partial obscuration of the Sun by the disk of the Moon, only observers located along a narrow band will observe totality as the dark inner portion of the Moon's shadow (known as the umbra) grazes across the Earth's surface.

Kentucky is fortunately situated for this eclipse because the town of Hopkinsville will experience the longest duration of totality (approximately 2:40) for any location along the path of totality. The last time that the path of totality passed through Kentucky was Aug. 7, 1869, when the path covered Louisville, Lexington and (at its northern edge) Morehead. The next time that a total eclipse will be visible in Kentucky is April 8, 2024, when the path of totality will trace the extreme western portion of the state.

Observers located in Morehead will see approximately 93-percent of the Sun's disk covered by the moon. All observers are urged to use caution when observing an eclipse: permanent eye damage may result if the eclipse is viewed with the naked eye (sunglasses -- even stacked together -- will not provide adequate protection. Proper eye "eclipse glasses" must be used.

An eclipse viewing event will be held in front of Morehead State University’s Space Science Center. Astrophysics and Space Science students will be on hand to assist in viewing the eclipse with solar telescopes and eclipse glasses.  The eclipse begins at 1:04 p.m., reaches mid-eclipse just before 2:32 p.m. and ends at 3:55 p.m.

For additional information, contact the Space Science Center at 606-783 2381