Ooh and Aah at the Upcoming Solar Eclipse at These Viewing Parties

3

On Monday, August 21, most of North America will be treated to the first solar eclipse sighting since 1979. If you weren’t alive back then, a solar eclipse is a rare natural phenomenon that occurs when the moon passes between the earth and sun.

During the afternoon, the sun will disappear for minutes in many areas around the United States, creating bizarre darkness and decreasing temperatures. The eclipse will begin around 1:25 p.m., reach its peak around 2:45 p.m. and end around 4 p.m.

Connecticut residents won’t see a full eclipse, as estimates indicate the area will witness about 70 percent of the sun vanish in the afternoon, but viewers will still need protective eyewear while watching the sun vanish.

Protective eyewear, you say? NASA recommends that people wear special-purpose solar filters to safely enjoy history being made. Viewing through telescopes with solar filters is also fine.

Those waiting for a full solar eclipse in Connecticut will have to wait another 62 years for it to occur again in 2079. In the meantime, here are some of the best viewing parties in Connecticut to experience history on August 21.

2

Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium (New Haven) 

The astronomy center at Yale University welcomes visitors to view the partial social eclipse through solar telescopes and eclipse glasses available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Live streams from NASA and Slooh will also be on display. The free event is open to the public and registration is not required on site at 355 Prospect St.

Connecticut Science Center (Hartford)

One of the state’s premier science centers is putting on a free celebration for the social eclipse with family-friendly activities, including crafts, live streams, food trucks and a DJ that will bring music and dancing to the party. Vasu Tribe Studio will also lead visitors through a “yoga flow” celebration during the event. Headquartered at 250 Columbus Blvd., the fun lasts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

1

James Blackstone Memorial Central Library (Branford)

The library, located at 758 Main St., is hosting a free solar eclipse viewing party that includes a live stream of the eclipse, information sessions, crafts and “3-D printed swag.” Visitors will create their own solar eclipse viewfinders before going outside to experience the historic occurrence. The event lasts from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Westport Astronomical Society (Westport)

Join the volunteers of the Westport Astronomical Society to view the social eclipse at an event from 1 to 4 p.m. at 182 Bayberry Lane. “One of the most memorable astronomical events of our lifetimes is about to take place as a total solar eclipse dazzles viewers across the United States,” the nonprofit organization wrote on the event’s Facebook page. Visitors are asked to park at the Westport Weston Health District or on Bayberry Lane.

Leave a Reply