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Solar eclipse viewing event planned at WVWC on Monday, April 8

BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – West Virginia Wesleyan College’s SPACE Club, Physics and Engineering Society and Sigma Pi Sigma, will sponsor a solar eclipse event from 2-4:30 p.m. Monday, April 8 in the Chapel Oval of Wesleyan’s campus.

Buckhannon will see a 90 percent eclipse starting at 1:58 p.m. The peak of the eclipse will occur at 3:16 p.m., and the eclipse will end at 4:29 p.m. Those attending will be given a pair of eclipse glasses and instructions on how to construct a pinhole camera. A few telescopes will also be available for use.

North America will be privy to a solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. Anyone within the path of totality will be able to see a total eclipse, where the moon completely covers the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere, the corona. Although this 110-mile-wide path across the United States, from Texas to Maine, will present a total eclipse, those not in the path of totality will still experience a partial eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk.

“One of the neatest ways to see the eclipse is to look at the shadow of a tree,” Dr. Tracey Delaney, associate professor of physics, said. “As the sunlight makes its way through the leaves, the system is very similar to pinhole projection and so you will see all of the little sunbeams coming through and hitting the ground in the shape of crescents.”

Viewing any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury. When watching the partial phases of the solar eclipse directly with your eyes you must look through safe solar viewing glasses (“eclipse glasses”) or a safe handheld solar viewer at all times. You can also use an indirect viewing method, such as a pinhole projector.

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