Orange Alert

All Are Invited to Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on the Quad

Physics Department to Present Lecture, Provide Safe Viewing Tools

Aug. 18, 2017, by Elizabeth Droge-Young

Image NASA. Credit: S. Habbal, M. Druckmüller and P. Aniol

A total solar eclipse hasn’t been visible in the continental United States since 1979. But on Monday, Aug. 21, people will witness the moon completely blocking the sun in a 70-mile-wide path from Lincoln Beach, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina.

To commemorate the local partial eclipse, the Syracuse Physics Department is hosting an eclipse viewing party, beginning at noon in the Physics Building’s Stolkin Auditorium.

All University and community members are welcome to attend the free event.

“Next Monday’s eclipse is visible over a wide swath of the U.S., from coast to coast, but all eclipses are special since we get so few chances to see one,” explains Carl Rosenzweig, professor of physics.

Map: Joshua Stevens @jscarto

The party will kick off with a lecture by Rosenzweig on the physics of why eclipses happen, how we are able to predict them and why they are so rare. Following the lecture, all attendees will gather on the Quad for the opportunity to view the partial eclipse through two of the department’s telescopes.

A limited number of special solar viewing glasses, which prevent eye damage, will also be available. “Never look at the sun without proper eye protection, even during a partial eclipse,” reminds Samuel Sampere, instructional lab manager and eclipse party organizer.

In Syracuse, the eclipse will last from roughly 1:15-4 p.m., EDT with the sun

68 percent obstructed at the height of the event according to NASA’s interactive map.


A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, temporarily blocking the sun’s rays for up to three hours, although this August’s celestial event will only block light in any location for under three minutes according to NASA.

Rosenzweig hopes the party will foster a better understanding of and appreciation for nature—and get people excited for the next big celestial event: “we want everyone to get ready for the next eclipse in less than 7 years, which will be seen in totality in Syracuse!”

Media Contact

Robert M Enslin