No, the solar eclipse will not be July 22nd, but that’s the first evening to mark on your calendar. That’s the night that the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society will be at Hobbs State Park to explain the approaching solar phenomenon and how to enjoy it when it does come on August 21 of this year. A solar eclipse in the continental U.S. is uncommon. In fact, the last one was 38 years ago in February of 1979.
What’s going to happen? This year millions of people across the United States will see one of nature’s most amazing spectacles. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty. The Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky; however, you would have to be in the right place, and that’s a line from central Idaho to central Nebraska to central Missouri to Nashville. In Northwest Arkansas, we will experience about 92% totality, so although we will not experience the deep twilight and Sun’s corona, we will enjoy a fascinating chance to study the Sun. Dr. Katherine Auld will explain the geometry of a total eclipse, the history of eclipse science, and the opportunities for that day. The lecture will end with an explanation of viewing the night sky and a simple night sky tour.
Dr. Auld, president of the Sugar Creek club added, “Because the new moon will be the following night, July 22nd should be a great night for observing with telescope, binoculars or just using your unaided eyes! We will have several telescopes set up looking at various deep sky objects. By the nature of stellar observation, these objects will move through the evening, so viewing opportunities will be plentiful. As always everyone is invited. All ages are encouraged. A basket of children’s books will be provided along with extra balloon covered flashlights for Reading Under the Stars.”
What to Bring if you can:
- Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)
- Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have)
- Folding chair – one per person
- Star chart (if you have one)
Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection
When: Saturday July 22, 2017
Eclipse lecture at 7:45 pm
Night sky viewing at 8:45 pm
Cost: FREE – Public invited
Great for families and scout groups! For more information, call: 479-789-5000