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Wanek School of Natural Sciences

The Great American Eclipse @ HPU

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon’s shadow hits Earth. This can only happen if it’s New Moon and the Moon is crossing the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Solar eclipses happen about twice a year somewhere on Earth, but at any particular location they are much more rare. The last total solar eclipse to touch North Carolina was in 1970, and the next will be in 2078! From campus, the 21 August 2017 eclipse will only be partial, with the Moon covering 95% of the Sun’s surface.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SAFETY: Do not look directly at the Sun when any part of its surface is visible! This will damage your eyes, and normal sunglasses are not adequate protection. We will have safe eclipse filters (“shades”) for you to look through to see the eclipse, as well as specially-equipped telescopes.

We have arranged two viewing opportunities for the HPU community to see the eclipse.

Option 1: On Campus

On campus, eclipse shades and telescopes will be available on the Promenade from 1:15 to 4:00 PM, with maximum eclipse at 2:42. Plan to stop by! No reservation needed.

Option 2: Road Trip

If you are especially keen to see the Moon completely cover the Sun, join us for a bus expedition to the “path of totality”. The dark part of the Moon’s shadow, where the Sun is completely blocked, crosses the US in a diagonal path from Oregon to South Carolina. The view during totality is amazing: stars are visible as well as the outer atmosphere (“corona”) of the Sun. We will have buses going to South Carolina or maybe Tennessee; the exact location will be determined by the weather forecast (we need clear skies). This will be a full-day trip, departing as early as 6 AM and returning to campus in the evening. Student cost is $20.

To reserve your spot on the bus, click here.

Many thanks to the Student Government Association, which provided the bulk of funds needed for this expedition.

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