Nicholls to host solar eclipse forum, watch party


THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University will welcome students and a solar eclipse to campus on Aug. 21 with a forum about the solar phenomenon and watch party that afternoon.

Dr. Kaisa Young, astronomer and assistant professor of physics, will discuss the who, what, when where and why of the eclipse and how to view it safely at a public presentation from 9:40 to 10:30 a.m. in Peltier Auditorium.

A solar eclipse occurs because of the special coincidence of the moon and the sun appearing the same size to our eyes. Even though the sun is about 400 times wider than the moon it is also about 400 times farther away, making it appear the same size in the sky.

At noon, the Nicholls community is encouraged to gather in the fields adjacent to the Harold Callais Recreation Center to view the eclipse through telescopes and eclipse glasses.

The total eclipse will last approximately 90 minutes as the lunar shadow sweeps from coast to coast at more than 1,500 mph, beginning at about 12:15 p.m. and ending at 1:49 p.m. It will be the first total solar eclipse in 99 years to cross coast-to-coast and the first to pass through any part of the Lower 48 states in 38 years. According to the United States Naval Observatory, Thibodaux will see approximately a 74 percent block of the sun at 1:28 p.m.


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