UW solar eclipse expert speaking in Shoshoni tonight
Coverage of the August 2017 solar eclipse is brought to you by Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel.
Tim Slater, the Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowed Chair in Science Education at the University of Wyoming, has traveled into deeply rural Africa to catch a glimpse of the disappearing sun. Slater is scheduled to speak about the nature of eclipses in Shoshoni Tuesday, May 9.
In his lectures, he describes how to safely observe the Aug. 21 eclipse of the sun and uses scientific digital visualization simulations to explain why scientists from all over the world are coming to Wyoming to observe this once-in-a-lifetime event. At 6pm, he is speaking to the public in the Shoshoni High School Community Commons room. His trip is sponsored the UW College of Education, the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium and local entities.
Visible from much of Wyoming and known as the Great North American Solar Eclipse, this rarely visible sky event occurs midday Aug. 21, 2017. “For several hours, the moon will slowly cover and uncover the sun, causing skies to darken dramatically. In the middle of the event — for just about two minutes — the moon will completely block the sun, if you are standing in the right part of Wyoming,” says Slater, an internationally recognized expert on the teaching of astronomy.
Eclipses of the Sun by the Moon occur about twice each year. However, eclipses can only be observed from narrowly specific locations on Earth. Astronomy Professor Mike Pierce is coordinating nine scientific telescopes run by high school teachers and students spread across Wyoming in a collaborative effort to carefully monitor the Sun continuously. Pierce says, “It’s awe-inspiring. You see a part of the sun that is never seen. This will be something that people will tell their grandchildren about.”
This August, scientists and sky-watching enthusiasts from all over the world will make Wyoming their destination, resulting in full hotels, busy restaurants, overextended cell phone towers, and overburdened highways across the state. However, as Slater points out, “It might be difficult and time consuming for families to make their way to a prime viewing location, but it is totally worth the effort to briefly stand within the dark moon’s shadow once in your life.”