Students from the Chemistry and Physics Club, and faculty members of the Department of Chemistry and Physics, hosted eclipse viewing events from about noon to 2 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21, on PNW’s Westville and Hammond campuses. Eclipse viewing glasses were handed out and shared for participants’ safety, and at the Westville Campus telescopes with solar filters helped provide a magnified view of the eclipse.
Eddie McGrady, a PNW third-year Honors student and McNair Scholar majoring in physics and mathematics, spearheaded the effort to hold a viewing event at the Hammond Campus through his role as vice president of the Chemistry and Physics Club. He was pleased to see so many people outside early with their eyes turned toward the skies.
“I just thought we should have some way to share this once-in-a-lifetime event,” said McGrady, who recently returned from spending his summer at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, near Geneva.
The Westville event was organized by Aaron Warren, associate professor of physics, and Jessica Warren, limited term lecturer in the department of Chemistry and Physics.
Despite the mostly cloudy skies, students were amazed by the glimpse of the partially eclipsed sun.
The total solar eclipse crossed the continental United States from Salem, Ore. to Charleston, S.C. The last time a total eclipse crossed the United States from sea to sea was June 8, 1918. The 2017 eclipse in either total or partial phase could be seen by more than 500 million people in North and South America, Europe, and Africa.
In the United States, millions gathered along a tiny ribbon less than 100 miles wide to see totality, the complete blocking out of the sun by the moon which revealed the solar corona. In Northwest Indiana, approximately 90 percent of the sun was hidden by the moon during this historic event.
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