Hundreds of people enjoyed a clear bright August day at Buffalo State yesterday as they watched the moon pass slowly in front of the sun beginning shortly after 1:00 p.m. The gathering was part of the college’s “View and Do” eclipse-viewing event.
Many people came equipped with umbrellas and tents so they could enjoy the rare cosmic event comfortably. Volunteers, many of them students and alumni, introduced visitors to the effects of ultra-violet rays and the relative distances between the sun, the moon, and earth. Telescopes equipped with special lenses for safe viewing attracted lines of eager, interested people ranging from toddlers to seniors. The telescopes were especially helpful because, unfortunately, there weren’t enough eclipse glasses for everyone who came.
A cheerful, friendly crowd shared glasses during the peak of the eclipse—a moment marked by a burst of applause and cheering. Before the peak and for some time thereafter, the temperature felt cooler and some observers noted that the sunlight seemed to be dimmed.
“The people were just terrific,” said Heather McCarthy, planetarium educator with the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium. McCarthy, ’17, answered questions, responded to guests’ questions, and coordinated volunteers during the three-hour event.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better viewing experience,” said Kevin Williams, director of the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium and associate professor of earth sciences and science education. “Even though we didn’t experience totality, we had a great community event on a beautiful day.”
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In the future, we will all remember where we were for the solar eclipse 2017 @buffalostate— Kate Conway-Turner (@kate_kct) August 21, 2017
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