Officials at the Fleet Science Center announced Monday that they will hold a free event to view the upcoming solar eclipse.
Next Monday’s astronomical phenomenon is scheduled to begin in San Diego shortly after 9 a.m. and reach its height at 10:23 a.m.
The eclipse will be total in a 100-mile-wide swath of the country from Oregon to South Carolina, and will be partial in Southern California — 57 percent in San Diego. It will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the United States since 1979.
“The eclipse is an event for all of your senses,” said Steve Snyder, museum CEO.
“During the eclipse, take the time to look at the world around you,” Snyder said. “Watch the shadows of the trees for projections of the eclipse. Listen to the sounds around you as the natural world reacts to this event. See if you can feel the change in temperature as the moon begins to block the sun.”
Attendees in front of the Fleet Science Center will find supplies to build a pinhole projector, a solar telescope from the San Diego Astronomy Association and an opportunity to purchase inexpensive solar eclipse glasses made with special filters that allow viewing the eclipse without risking eye damage.
Dr. Lisa Will, the museum’s resident astronomer and a San Diego City College professor, will be on hand to discuss the eclipse.
Inside the museum, the “NASA Edge Megacast” will be displayed in the dome theater from 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
The NASA production will show the eclipse from 11 spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft, more than 50 high-altitude balloons and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Each view will offer a unique vantage point for the celestial event.
Museum officials said that when the moon completely blocks the sun the otherwise hidden solar corona will appear, and bright stars and planets also will become visible.
The megacast viewing in the dome theater will be included with museum admission. It will also be shown in the museum lobby.
After next Monday, there won’t be a solar eclipse visible in San Diego until 2023.
—City News Service
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