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Watching the Solar Eclipse Safely

Aug 21, 2017

The great solar eclipse of 2017 is finally upon us and currently, the weather is projected to be partly cloudy.  Student volunteers from the SPACE club, Physics club, and Sigma Pi Sigma will be hosting a viewing party in front of Christopher Hall from 1-4 pm on Monday, August 21.  The eclipse will start at 1:10 pm with the peak of the eclipse at 2:37 pm and ending at 3:57 pm.  We are not in the path of totality, but the moon will cover 88% of the Sun at the peak of the eclipse.


  • Do not look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection.  Your eyes will be permanently damaged and you could become blind.
  • The only 100% guaranteed safe way to view the eclipse is to watch it on TV.
  • At no time during the eclipse will it be safe to look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection.
  • Do not improvise your own eye protection, only use certified safe methods to view the eclipse. 



    In order to view the eclipse safely, 200 eclipse glasses will be available to give away during the event.  Eclipse glasses are regulated by an international safety standard.  Wesleyan’s eclipse glasses have been tested with a spectrometer to ensure that they do indeed meet the standard for safe solar viewing, including blocking out infrared and ultraviolet light in addition to the visible light.  Make sure to put the eclipse glasses in front of your eyes before looking up at the Sun.  Children observing a solar eclipse should always be supervised to ensure they are practicing proper eye safety.  Always inspect the filters in your eclipse glasses before use; if scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged, discard the glasses.

    Telescopes with solar filters will be set up and also cardstock and instructions for pinhole projection will be available.  You can view the eclipse safely without any tools by looking at tree shadows.  The gaps between the leaves act as little pin holes such that the splinters of sunlight hitting the ground are all little images of the eclipse.  You can even do pinhole projection with your fingers — cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other, creating a waffle pattern. With your back to the Sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small eclipse images on the ground.

Be SAFE and enjoy the 2017 Solar Eclipse.