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ABI to Host Eclipse Watch Party on A-State Campus


The Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) on the campus of Arkansas State University will host an eclipse viewing party Monday, Aug. 21 at 12:30 p.m.

A discussion of the eclipse and hands-on demonstrations will be held in ABI 107, followed by a viewing of the eclipse outside of the main entrance to the building.  Northeast Arkansas, including the A-State campus, will experience an eclipse of approximately 95 percent, with the peak occurring at 1:19 p.m.

For those wishing to view the eclipse in totality, the ABI and the College of Science and Mathematics will live stream NASA’s EDGE megacast of the event in ABI 107.

A limited supply of solar viewing glasses will be available at the watch party, but those viewing are asked to bring their own, if possible.  Anyone viewing the eclipse should wear certified ISO 12312-2 solar viewers. Looking directly at the sun without proper protection can cause permanent damage to your eyes and smoked glass, welding hoods and lesser quality viewing glasses that do not block out 100 percent of harmful rays are not adequate for protection.

Additionally, a team of A-State students, led by professor of science education Dr. Tillman Kennon and associate professor of physics Dr. Ross Carroll, will be using high-altitude balloons to gather data during the eclipse as part of a NASA study of the event.

The team will travel to Fulton, Mo. to launch the balloons, which will be equipped with multiple cameras, tracking devices, and other instruments such as spectrometers and Geiger counters.

Observing the team and the eclipse in Fulton will be more than 60 A-State students and staff members on a “trip to the eclipse” hosted by the Arkansas State University Office of Research & Technology Transfer and the Student Research Council.  The trip is a kickoff for the Create@State 2018 STEAM theme and initiative to engage the arts with the STEM disciplines.  The group will travel by chartered bus to view the eclipse, returning to A-State later that afternoon.