Dr. Douglas Duncan, Director of the Fiske Planetarium at CU, shared his enthusiasm for “The Great American Eclipse” with Boulder Rotary on August 4.

On August 21, everyone in the United States will be able to see an eclipse of the sun with at least 75% coverage.  Dr. Douglas Duncan, Director of the Fiske Planetarium at CU, shared his enthusiasm for “The Great American Eclipse” with Boulder Rotary on August 4.

While a solar eclipse occurs somewhere in the world every 2-3 years, this will be the first time in 40 years that people in a 70-mile wide strip across the country can view a total eclipse of the sun.  Doug shared that a total eclipse looks like the end of the world, with beads of light showing along the moon’s valleys, and gas prominences and streamers of the sun’s corona visible along the edges.  “Animals do strange things” he stated, showing videos of llamas lining up and whales and dolphins surfacing to share the spectacular event with Doug and his party of viewers during prior eclipse excursions.

Many folks including some Boulder Rotarians have made plans to journey to Wyoming or Nebraska to experience the event.  For those remaining in Boulder, the partial eclipse (94% coverage or “6% sun visible”) will begin at 10:23 and end at 1:14, with maximum coverage of the sun at 11:46 AM.  Doug explained that it will not get dark in Boulder because, even with only 6% of the sun visible, it will still be 25 times brighter than a full moon.

Doug and President Marty thoughtfully arranged for 200 pair of eclipse-watching glasses (10 times more protective than sunglasses) from McGuckin’s to be available for Boulder Rotarians.  Doug also showed us how to use binoculars and how to make a pinhole camera to safely project a view of the eclipse.  If you were unable to attend his presentation, you can hear from Dr. Duncan at www.colorado.edu/eclipse.