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Re: 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Posted: August 2nd, 2017, 2:46 pm
by Christopher K.
There are some reports that a few solar viewers out on the market at this time are unsafe--that their ISO number stamps are counterfeit and the filter itself leaves much to be desired.

If you have already purchased a filter you may want to test it. Attempt to look at bright lights here on Earth; you should not be able to see them through a legitimate solar viewer! Additionally, your viewer should yield a sharp view of the solar disk surrounded by black. If the viewer shows the dark background as mildly bright and the Sun looks blurry, discard the viewer.

More information: ... s-america/

Re: 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Posted: August 3rd, 2017, 6:55 pm
by Christopher K.
It was printed erroneously in this month's Planetary Post that the speaker for the 14 August BRAS meeting is Gabriela González. Of course, she spoke earlier this year.

On Monday the 14th at 7pm the Baton Rouge Astronomical Society will offer three speakers discussing the Great American Eclipse. This is from Vice-President Craig Brenden...
*Chris Desselles will touch on using simple cameras (such as those found in iPhones) so one can easily take 'snapshots'.
*Merrill Hess will outline the sequence of events to anticipate before, during and after the event.
*Ben Toman will share the contents of BRAS' Night Sky Network Eclipse package; this will include solar viewing glasses for BRAS members.

On Saturday the 19th from 10am to 12pm the Science Academy topic will be "Solar Eclipses". The program is for eight- to twelve-year-olds. The cost is five dollars per in-parish child and six dollars per out-of-parish child.

The Highland Road Park Observatory is currently selling America's 2017 Eclipse for ten dollars each (tax included). This book from the folks at Sky & Telescope includes sixty-four pages covering the science of eclipses, resources, citizen science opportunities on the 21st, weather prospects and more. HRPO has a limited number. A copy can be held for twenty-four hours by calling 768-9948.

Re: 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Posted: August 11th, 2017, 5:43 pm
by Christopher K.
Mario Losanov's wonderful City Gelato will have a cart here during the Great American Eclipse. He asked HRPO what flavors would be preferable. HRPO told him to "bring something yellow". The prices will be four dollars to seven dollars depending on the size and whether the patron asks for a cup or a cone.

Re: 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Posted: August 12th, 2017, 5:52 pm
by Christopher K.
A second public presentation on the Great American Eclipse will be offered at 6:30pm on Tuesday 16 August at the Gonzales Community Library (708 South Irma Boulevard, 647-3955). The speaker will be from the Baton Rouge Astronomical Society.

There seems to be a slight misconception from people who will be with large crowds or groups during the Eclipse--the misconception that every single person needs his or her own solar viewer. This is not true, and may be leading to the shortages of viewers currently experienced by the Baton Rouge area. Instructions for legitimate viewers mandate that viewing should only take place a minute or two at a time, not continuously throughout the event without breaks. Therefore, people can share the viewers. If you have a crowd, divide the expected number of people by four or five and that's how many viewers are needed--especially with groups of young children! Teachers, parents, homeschool officials, etc. do not want to keep their eyes on sixty to ninety elementary or middle school kids to insure each and every one is using a viewer correctly. Instead, create stations that the kids rotate through, where one small group uses viewers, one small group uses projection devices, one small group watches a live feed on television or the internet, and so on. The yields the added bonus of making the event a lot more manageable.

Re: 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Posted: August 13th, 2017, 5:42 pm
by Christopher K.
Billy Callaway will perform ambient music during the Great American Eclipse, probably from 12:30pm to 2:30pm at HRPO. This will be the first time Mr. Callaway will perform at HRPO; he uses a loop pedal and describes his music as having a lot of "sonic texture". We're looking forward to seeing him; he'll probably bring flyers and a business card or two.

Re: 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Posted: August 13th, 2017, 8:27 pm
by Christopher K.
Sales of solar viewers at HRPO have been suspended until 9am on 21 August. This is due to half of our stock already being bought off by patrons, mostly during Friday night's Perseid meteor peak.

Sales will resume the day of the Eclipse with the same parameters--two dollars each, limit two per person (no exceptions).

Re: 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Posted: August 15th, 2017, 10:07 am
by Christopher K.
Leila Lagniappe will join City Gelato here at HRPO. Ms. Leila and her husband will probably be set up for sales at 10:30am. Here is the menu...
soda, $1.00
bottled water, $1.00
corn dog, $2.00
cheese nachos, $3.00
fries, $3.00
funnel cake, $4.00
pulled pork sandwich, $6.00
pulled pork cherokee taco, $6.00
pulled pork nachos, $6.00
Italian sausage hoagie, $6.00
loaded fries, $6.00
pulled pork platter, $8.00

Re: 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Posted: August 15th, 2017, 11:55 am
by Christopher K.
If possible, please use a reliable online widget or computer program to give you the exact start of the Eclipse. To give an indication of why that is useful, Highland Road Park occupies a large number of acres in south Baton Rouge. According to the Sky & Telescope widget, a point just south of the Park and a point just north of the Park have a difference in start time of one second.

There will be a number of live feeds on the internet during the Great American Eclipse.

"2017 Total Solar Eclipse: A Guide to Totality": ... gust-2017/

Re: 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Posted: August 16th, 2017, 1:57 pm
by Christopher K.
A live NASA event titled "Historic Solar Eclipse--It's Only Days Away" starts at 2pm CDT on NASA-TV3...
It may last several hours, depending on how many individual interviews are shown.

The Eclipse Ballooning Project consists of balloon launch from about twenty-five locations along the totality track...

Anyone driving in or near any location experiencing totality should only drive if necessary and exercise extreme caution. Do not pull over on the side of the road for the Eclipse! That is not a good idea...

Re: 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Posted: August 16th, 2017, 6:38 pm
by Christopher K.
Professor Marty Horn will attempt to measure fluctuations in the Sun's magnetic field at HRPO during the Eclipse. He will take "baselines" on Saturday and Sunday...

There have been several inquiries concerning whether Baton Rouge will experience a noticeable drop in sunlight. This is highly unlikely; the Sun needs actually to be over ninety percent obstructed for that to happen. However, there may be an appreciable drop in temperature--perhaps two to four degrees. Anyone with a weather station should note these changes if possible.

The special "How to Safely Watch a Solar Eclipse" will be broadcast on NASA-TV1 at 8pm CDT tonight, and tomorrow at 7am CDT, 4pm CDT and 7pm CDT.