UAF has its eyes on the sky for the eclipse

Time: 8 a.m. to 10:15 a.m
Location: 900 Yukon Drive, Reichardt Building
<i>Photo by Meghan Murphy</i><br /> Undergraduate student Betsy Lokken looks safely at the sun through a Newtonian Reflector telescope, which has a sun filter on the front. The filter acts like welding goggles and blocks out out 99.999 percent of incoming light to make it safe.
Photo by Meghan Murphy
Undergraduate student Betsy Lokken looks safely at the sun through a Newtonian Reflector telescope, which has a sun filter on the front. The filter blocks out out 99.999 percent of incoming light to make it safe.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks will host a local Eclipse Across America event from 8-10:15 a.m. Monday, Aug. 21, outside the Reichardt Building on the Fairbanks campus.

Optimal viewing of the partial eclipse will  occur at approximately 9:21 a.m.

Graduate students from the College of Natural Science and Mathematics and the Geophysical Institute will explain the mechanics of the eclipse and help participants with viewing technology, including two telescopes equipped with solar filters and a radio telescope.

The radio telescope, which resembles a large dish, can detect signals through cloud cover. Although radio telescope images will not be as spectacular as those seen through the filtered telescopes, they will show a decrease in the sun’s intensity.

The National Park Service will be giving away free solar viewing glasses at the event. For the creatively inclined, supplies to make pinhole projectors will be available.

<i>Photo by Meghan Murphy</i><br /> Undergraduate students Betsy Lokken, left, and Sabrina Bishop view the sun with special glasses that protect their eyes from the harmful rays.
Photo by Meghan Murphy
Undergraduate students Betsy Lokken, left, and Sabrina Bishop view the sun with special glasses that protect their eyes from the harmful rays.

“It’s a slow but visceral way to be aware of the geometry of the solar system and our place on Earth within the solar system,” said event organizer and Physics Department lab manager Jeanie Talbot. “It’s like a bite is taken out of the sun and it keeps growing bigger and bigger.”

Although Fairbanks will only see a partial eclipse, a livestream from Oregon will play inside the Pearl Berry Boyd Hall, 201 Reichardt, during the dramatic moment of totality.  

ADDITIONAL CONTACT: Jeanie Talbot, jktalbot2@alaska.edu, 907-474-7339

ONLINE: http://cnsm.uaf.edu/solar-eclipse