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Home | Tag Archives: great american eclipse

Tag Archives: great american eclipse

Great American Eclipse 2017: Local Events, Resources & Info

On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see a total eclipse of the Sun.

Dubbed the ‘Great American Eclipse,’ even regions outside of the totality – like the Borderland – will get a view of this awesome celestial event, if the weather cooperates.  Below are local, regional and national resources for the best eclipse experience.

Totality for the U.S. starts on the west coast of Oregon at 11:16 a.m. MDT, heads southeast across the Lower 48 southeast, and exits through South Carolina at 2:49 p.m. MDT.

For more details on what to see and where, NASA has a webpage dedicated to national events and event live streams.  To view the exact path, visit the NASA interactive eclipse map.

El Paso Public Library – El Paso, Tx

11 a.m. – The three branches will hand out official eclipse viewers to visitors who attend (while supplies last). The celebration includes stories and other activities

Events and free glasses at these participating locations:

Armijo Library, 620 E. 7th Street, (915) 212-0369

Dorris Van Doren Library, 551 Red Rd., (915) 875-0700

José Cisneros Library, 1300 Hawkins, (915) 212-0450

For more information visit or call the nearest participating branch.

New Mexico Museum of Space History – Alamogordo, NM

10:30 a.m. – The New Mexico Museum of Space History is planning a solar eclipse party with eye-safe ways for you and your family to view the eclipse.

The museum is offering several activities for eclipse day, including a live feed from NASA of the total solar eclipse coverage along with webcasts from other sources, a workshop to teach you to create your own eye safe pinhole solar eclipse viewer, and Education Director Dave Dooling will talk about what causes eclipses and how they helped scientists discover the true nature of the Sun.

EPCC Offers Solar Eclipse Viewing

El Paso Community College (EPCC) Transmountain campus will offer viewing of Solar Eclipse to the public.

What:                  Solar Eclipse 2017

When:                 Monday, August 21, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Where:                EPCC Transmountain campus, 9570 Gateway North | East parking lot off of Kenworthy Drive

Visuals:              Solar Eclipse, viewing public, interviews with Physics instructors and students

McDonald Observatory – Ft. Davis, Tx

With the Partial Solar Eclipse on August 21st, the Visitors Center will be altering its schedule of programs somewhat:

  • live viewing (weather permitting) of the eclipse through our filtered telescope & camera set-up will be offered from in the Visitors Center theater and direct viewing (weather permitting) with safely filtered telescopes will be offered from the Center’s courtyard areas
  • regular Daytime Programs on Monday, the 21st, will be canceled in favor of viewing the eclipse
  • a 3:00p tour of the research facilities will be offered — go to our Eclipse Day page for more information
    – due to demand, we’ve added a 10:30a tour … go to the Eclipse Day page for more details

Always practice safe viewing! The NASA website says:

It’s common sense not to stare directly at the Sun with your naked eyes or risk damaging your vision, and that advice holds true for a partially eclipsed Sun. But, only with special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can safely look directly at the Sun.

NASA recommends that people who plan to view the eclipse should check the safety authenticity of viewing glasses to ensure they meet basic proper safety viewing standards.

Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the following criteria:

  • Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
  • Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
  • Notbe used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
  • Notuse homemade filters
  • Ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones — should notbe used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially-eclipsed Sun is with a pinhole projector. With this method, sunlight streams through a small hole – such as a pencil hole in a piece of paper, or even the space between your fingers – onto a makeshift screen, such as a piece of paper or the ground. It’s important to only watch the screen, not the Sun.

Never look at the Sun through the pinhole — it is not safe.

Story+Links: EPISD Planetarium Shows Teachers Safe Ways to View Historic Eclipse

EPISD’s return to classes on Monday will not be your average first day of school.

The district still expects nervous kindergarteners, excited seniors and plenty of traffic around its campuses; but at around 10:30 a.m., the first day of school will take on an unusual phenomenon: a total eclipse of the sun.

The Great American Eclipse will take place Monday, providing an opportunity for students to experience science in action.

Roddenberry Planetarium program manager Evelyn Maldonado was on hand Wednesday during the EPISD Connect at Chapin and Irvin high schools to provide information and show teachers safe ways for students to view the solar eclipse.

“This is all about safety. With science, we are always thinking about lab safety. We want to provide a safe way to view the eclipse without hurting our eyes,” Maldonado said.

She suggested looking at the eclipse through a do-it-yourself pinhole projector, using a mirror to reflect the sun on a wall or even using two index cards. She showcased a projector she made using a shoebox, piece of foil and tape.

“The projector is very simple to make, and it’s completely safe for students to use,” Maldonado said.

The image of the eclipse is projected through a pinhole to the back of a shoebox, so students can see the eclipse without having to look into the sky.

Due to its projected path, only a partial eclipse will be visible from El Paso, starting at 10:30 a.m. and peaking around 11:47 a.m.

“I believe it’s a great teaching moment. Not only for our science teachers but also our history teachers,” Maldonado said. “Solar eclipses have always been thought of as historic moments. Different cultures have their own beliefs of what eclipses represent.”

Alta Vista teacher Minerva Salcedo is looking forward to sharing the special moment with her fifth-grade science class.

“It’s definitely a teachable moment,” Salcedo said. “I remember experiencing a solar eclipse when I was about nine or ten, and it is an experience I will never forget.”

She plans on having her students use the two-index card method, placing one card on the floor and another with a pinhole to project the eclipse downward.

“I think that will be a good way for the students to really get a feel for what is happening and keep them looking at the floor and not up at the sky,” Salcedo said.

The next solar eclipse visible from the continental United States won’t take place until April 8, 2024.

“I really hope they get inspired, and they get excited and share that with their students,” Maldonado said. “I know it will be the first day of classes, but it’s a great opening act for the schools. It is science at its best.”

Some pointers to keep in mind when viewing a solar eclipse:

NMSU Team to Live-Stream Eclipse as Part of NASA National Eclipse Ballooning Project

A team of students and faculty from the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium at New Mexico State University will launch a high-altitude balloon on Monday, August 21 as part of a nationwide, NASA-sponsored project to live-stream aerial video footage of the “Great American Eclipse.”

The team will launch the roughly 8-foot-tall, helium-filled balloon, which will carry a video camera and other equipment to an altitude of up to 100,000 feet, at approximately 11 a.m. at the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, Nebraska. Live footage from the camera will be available for public viewing on a NASA sponsored website at

As part of the NASA-sponsored Eclipse Ballooning Project, 55 teams from across the country will live-stream footage of the total solar eclipse, in which the moon will entirely block the sun for approximately two minutes on a path progressing from the Pacific coast in Oregon (1:17 p.m. PCT) to the Atlantic coast in South Carolina (2:47 p.m. EST).

According to NMSGC research scientist, Paulo Oemig, the project is unprecedented by broadcasting from high-altitude live video of the total solar eclipse.

“Live-broadcasting while tracking the eclipse across the continental United States has never been done,” Oemig said. “The nature of the project also offers an invaluable opportunity for the students in the team to translate their skills and knowledge into a real world application.”

Sten Hasselquist, an astronomy doctoral student and member of the team stated, “This is an outreach event of epic proportion. I am learning many practical real world skills that I can apply to future jobs. My participation in this project supported by New Mexico Space Grant will make me a more attractive job applicant and I will be able to continue my career as an astronomer.”

Norann Calhoun, a chemical engineering major and member of the team said, “I hope that the data received from these experiments will allow for further advancements in the space industry. This project has helped me expand my resume and have furthered my knowledge of the industry. I look forward to applying to jobs in the space industry when I graduate so that I can continue on the wonderful path that the New Mexico Space Grant has opened to me.”

In addition to a video camera, the team’s balloon will carry a GPS tracking system, a camera to capture still images of the eclipse, and a secondary payload consisting of a heat exchanger with wavy channels designed to increase the efficiency of propellants. Once the eclipse has passed, the balloon will pop and the payloads will parachute to Earth.

The NMSU team will also be participating in the “Plug-and-Fly” microbiology balloon opportunity. This payload will help understand Space Biosciences researchers at the NASA Ames Research Center how microbes behave near space conditions. This research in the stratosphere will help NASA understand the nature of bacteria in the context of microbial life on Mars or other extreme environments.

The project is sponsored by the NASA Science Mission Directorate and NASA’s Space Grant program, a national network that includes more than 900 affiliates from universities, colleges, industry, museums, science centers, and state and local agencies belonging to one of 52 consortia in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The following NMSU students and faculty and staff are involved in the eclipse and heat exchange projects: Norann Calhoun, chemical engineering; Sten Hasselquist, astronomy; Paulo Oemig, senior research scientist; and Krishna Kota, assistant professor.

For more information about, visit NM Eclipse Ballooning project.

Author: Paulo Oemig – NMSU

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