Humboldt State University's Department of Physics & Astronomy hosts a special eclipse viewing on Monday, Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is free and open to the public and takes place on the HSU Events Field, located at 17th and B streets in Arcata.
The department is making it easy to view the eclipse with telescopes with solar filters, free safe eclipse glasses, and pinhole cameras. The event takes place rain or shine.
While Humboldt County won't get to witness a total eclipse, the astronomers say the coverage should nearly complete. "If you are in Portland, you'll 100 percent of the sun covered," says Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo, HSU Professor of Astronomy. "Here in Arcata we've got it pretty good, we should see 87 percent coverage."
Safe viewing is an essential part of enjoying any eclipse. HSU Student Health & Wellness Center Director Brian Mistler urges anyone viewing the eclipse to take the proper safety precautions. "The eclipse presents a wonderful opportunity for our community, and it is important to do proper research to protect your health. Never look at the sun, eclipsed or not, through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device or using homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, as doing so could damage your vision," says Mistler.
"The only safe way is through special-purpose solar filters, such as 'eclipse glasses' or hand-held solar viewers that meet ISO 12312-2 international standards. You should seek expert advice from a qualified astronomer before using any optical device for this purpose. NASA's Eclipse 101 page at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety is a great place to continue learning about how to safely enjoy this rare astronomical event."
More information about the solar eclipse viewing event is at https://www.facebook.com/HSUPhysAstro/.