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0 August 22, 2017

UWG Observatory Hosts Hundreds for ‘The Great American Eclipse’ – The WOLF News

By Bode Brooks, The WOLF News Director

Students, professors, parents, and astronomy enthusiasts of all ages packed the grounds surrounding the UWG Observatory Monday to witness the total solar eclipse pass through Carrollton. The historic astronomical event, dubbed ‘The Great American Eclipse,’ was the first of its kind since the 1910s and the first documented solar eclipse to ever cross the entire North American continent. Monday’s eclipse began crossing Carrollton at 1:04 PM and lasted until 4:01 PM, with totality at 2:35 PM.

The WOLF News spoke briefly with Ben Jenkins, Associate Director of the UWG Observatory in the final moments before the moon started to become visible in front of the sun. Jenkins said that as many as 1500 people had trekked up to the observatory for a free pair of solar eclipse glasses through the morning and early afternoon. As many as 3000 glasses had been distributed by UWG throughout the week prior to the eclipse. Unfortunately, the observatory ran out of glasses at around 1:30, almost one hour prior to the eclipse’s peak over Carrollton. Carrollton experienced 95.3% coverage at the eclipse’s peak at 2:35 PM.

Jenkins said that solar eclipses in any form are rare anywhere. When asked about the significance of the event, Jenkins explained how much beneficial atmospheric study would be gained from observations of the solar eclipse, as well as never before seen views of the sun’s corona. However, the significance of the event to everyday individuals was of far more greater importance to Jenkins. “For these types of events, the eclipse, generally speaking, allows for individuals to understand and interact with science in a magnificent, personal way. Through a better understanding of scientific events like this one, it will hopefully open people’s minds to other scientific issues, some with great impact; like climate change,” said Jenkins.

The next total solar eclipse will occur in seven years time on April 8, 2024. Views of the solar eclipse at UWG may be found online on The WOLF Internet Radio Facebook page.

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