A partial solar eclipse will be visible between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Fort Worth Monday, Aug. 21. The College of Science & Engineering, the Andrews Institute of Mathematics & Science Education (College of Education) and Student Affairs have joined together to throw a viewing party in the Campus Commons. Members of the TCU and Fort Worth community are welcome at this free event.
Solar-viewing glasses, numerous telescopes with special filters and pinhole projectors will be on site so you can safely view the eclipse. Participants will be able to see sunspots, the texture of the sun’s surface and solar flares. There will be a live feed from the region of total eclipse, educational booths with information about the solar eclipse as well as snacks and games.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon travels between the Earth and the sun. Although this happens every month during the new moon (when the moon is at its darkest phase), the sun-moon-Earth alignment has to be perfect for a solar eclipse to take place. When they are precisely aligned, the moon’s shadow creeps across the Earth, blocking the sun from our view. In Fort Worth, the moon will block 75 percent of the sun, while parts of the United States will experience a total eclipse. During the eclipse, which will last about two hours and 40 minutes, the day will darken and the temperature will drop.
It’s important to note that although the sun will be partially covered by the moon, it is not safe to view with your naked eye. Free eclipse glasses will be available at the party and together with the telescopes with special filters will allow you to safely view the astronomical event.