Founders Hall: Great American Eclipse

Where will you be during the Great American Eclipse? How about at Founders Hall? On Monday, Aug. 21, the earth, moon and sun will spectacularly align, creating an astronomical marvel. States from Oregon to Georgia will experience a total eclipse, in which the moon’s shadow will block the sun completely. In those areas of totality, daylight will turn eerily to twilight, colors will lose their contrast, shadows will sharpen, and phenomenon such as crescent shadows and the sun’s corona will appear. Connecticut will experience a partial eclipse, with about 75% of the sun blocked, a rare event worth watching.

“The sun will look like a crescent moon,” says retired physicist Vernon Beck, “and the sky should be dim enough to see Venus in the western horizon.”

From about 1 to 4 p.m., Beck will set up a telescope in our library, which will project onto a screen the moon’s shadow moving across the sun.

“Do not look directly at the sun,” cautions Beck.

With eye protection in mind, Beck will also have several head boxes available that enable safe outdoor viewing. As a bad weather backup, Beck will stream broadcasts of the total eclipse in our computer room. He will also be available throughout the afternoon to answer questions about the science behind the spectacle. Don’t miss this chance to safely view the once-in-a-generation Great American Eclipse.