On Monday, August 21 North America will experience an eclipse of the sun for the first time, since 1918 the next one is expected in 2024.
Bucks County Community College is inviting the public to view the historic event at their Newtown Campus located on Swamp Road. The Science Center patio will host the event, located in Founders Hall.
Professor Debra Geoghan, and interim dean of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Department, organized the solar eclipse experience.
“In Bucks County, although we are not in the path of totality, we will have a partial solar eclipse of about 80 percent coverage,” explained Geoghan. “It will be worthwhile to view.”
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the total solar eclipse will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. The path from east to west will endure a sight of the moon completely above the sun with the sun’s tenuous atmosphere (the corona) able to be seen.
The rare display comes with an instructional advice to wear safety viewing glasses. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) released a report to warn of potentially unsafe eclipse viewers being disturbed. Bucks County Community College will provide authentic glasses.
“We’ll be providing special glasses to ensure safe viewing, and participants can ask our STEM professors questions,” Geoghan added.
Viewers without a proper International Organization for Standardization (ISO) could cause retinal damage. The AAS reported glasses with an ISO label should be suitable for usage, however, several pairs with the logo have been deemed unsafe. The AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force is working to compile a list of safe vendors.
The AAS added if glasses were bought or given out at a science museum, planetarium, or an astronomy trade show viewers will have an ISO-complaint filter.
Safe viewing glasses, information about the eclipse, and snacks will all be available at the Science Center on Bucks’ Newtown Campus, located at 275 Swamp Road.