Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 15, 2018

Program to explore eclipse Saturday

By David Hotle | Aug 09, 2017



On Aug. 21, Washington County Naturalist Pam Holz plans to make an eight-hour round trip to see the sky get dark for just over two minutes.

The reason this is so important is that it is the first time it has happened in close to 100 years (the last time a total solar eclipse was visible throughout the contiguous United States) and the last time it will happen until April 2024. The day marks a total solar eclipse, the time with the moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun obstructing the Sun from the earth for a brief time. The celestial event was something Holz didn’t want to miss.

“I was planning on doing a program on the 21st like everyone else, but I started doing research online and I decided that 99.9 percent totality is not good enough,” she said.

Because she won’t be in town to discuss the eclipse during the event itself, Holz is planning a program at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Marr Park Conservation Education Center to discuss the eclipse, as well as the highly visible Persuid meteor shower that will be at its height on Aug. 12. She said topics of discussion will be what causes solar and lunar eclipses, how to safely view the eclipse, and other general discussion about the Earth’s movement.

“People can learn about the eclipse and learn if they want to travel to see totality,” Holz said. “They will learn more about its importance - what is all the fuss over an eclipse?”

Holz commented that NASA would be live-streaming the eclipse throughout the day and that the Washington Public Library would be playing the coverage, as well has having a program from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The time of the maximum coverage in Washington is 1:12 p.m. on Aug. 21. In Washington the moon will not completely obscure the sun.

“There are people who spend thousands of dollars going to different places in the world to see a total eclipse and I want to see what all the fuss is about,” Holz said. “Apparently it is a huge deal and for it to move across the center if the United States is a big deal.”

She said during the total coverage, the sky is totally dark, the stars come out and the temperature drops. She said animals also mistake it for night.

People with questions about the eclipse can contact Holz at 657-2400.

“There is really exciting stuff happening in the heavens,” Holz said.

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