WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

The Finger Lakes Prepares for the Solar Eclipse

Aug 21, 2017

People are flocking to the band that stretches across the United States where Monday’s total solar eclipse will be visible. The Finger Lakes are well outside of the part of the country that will achieve the total solar eclipse. That doesn’t mean we’re not in for a show. Leslie Hebb is an assistant professor of physics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Credit The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

“Outside of totality, you won’t see the sky darken, but if you have solar glasses, or a solar telescope with a solar filter, or you set up a pinhole projector, you’ll definitely see a significant bite out of the Sun on the projection or image you see of the Sun. The bite will take out about 75% of the Sun. So, it’s significant and the whole partial eclipse will happen about 3 to 3-and-a-half hours.”

If you’ve not yet bought solar glasses, don’t have a solar telescope handy, and aren’t sure how to go about making a pinhole projector, the Departments of Physics and Geoscience at HWS are hosting an eclipse party on Monday from Noon to 4 on the Scandling Center patio.

“You can come and make your own pinhole projector, which is not so hard. We’ll help you do that. We’ll have some projectors set up. We’ll be showing a live video feed, NASA’s coverage of the eclipse. They have some satellite and balloon images of the eclipse that they’ll be covering. They’ll have some footage of all different sites from around the U.S. We’ll have large TVs set up inside to watch that. Outside, you can borrow a pair of our eclipse glasses. You can make your own projector. You can just chat with other people about the eclipse and about science.”

There will be other viewing parties around the area including at the Penn Yan Public Library, the Ford Memorial Library in Ovid. You can find those listed on the WEOS Community Calendar.