There is much more to the skies than just star-gazing. Some of nature’s most spectacular astronomical phenomena were, at times, terrifying to our ancestors. Cut through the superstition and learn valuable tips for safe-viewing, as well as educational activities the entire family can enjoy. We will talk about the science of eclipses, local astronomical resources, upcoming events, and opportunities to learn more.
Though sufficiently rare to be considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a total solar eclipse surely ranks among the most widely accessible of human experiences: neither age, education, ethnicity, gender, economic status, nor any other distinguishing human characteristic prevents people from observing an eclipse, and no specialized scientific equipment is required . All that is necessary to witness an eclipse safely is to be in the path of the eclipse with some basic eye protection on a day with clear skies. This presentation begins with a description of the mechanics of eclipses and how people are able to predict them. Images of eclipses before, during, and after totality are used to highlight aesthetic features that can be seen during the event. The presentation concludes with a look at some important events in the history of science, war, politics, and culture that were shaped by eclipses