The Great American Eclipse: Solar Spectacle Safety

May 3, 2017

The August Great American Eclipse is in WNC's backyard!  But to view such a spectacle safely, you'll need to take some special steps.  

On the afternoon of August 21, 2017, a giant shadow will sweep across North America – the first total solar eclipse in the continental United States since 1979 and the first to run from sea to shining sea since 1918.  

 Parts of  Western North Carolina are in the path of totality and hotels and viewing spots are quickly selling out.   In preparation for the astronomical event, Blue Ridge Public Radio is hosting a science-art competition for middle, high school, and community college students in the region.   We're also exploring solar eclipse science, prime viewing spots and sound advice for viewing the eclipse safely.  Blue Ridge Public Radio's Helen Chickering got some tips from with Cory Van Auken with the Asheville Museum of Science. 

Cory Van Auken with the Asheville Museum of Science shares some eclipse safe viewing tips.

The Museum of Science is hosting several Eclipse events, including an Eclipse Experience in an inflatable planetarium.  Click here for more information .  

Check in with the Museum of Science and this website in the near future for more information about solar viewing glasses.

About the Eclipse Science-Art contest:

The contest is the result of a “science as art” brainstorming session between BPR’s Helen Chickering,  Art & Science in the Field’s Nancy Lowe and Astronomer, Educator and Author, Stephan Martin.   

What: A juried competition for works of art about the solar eclipse for middle school students, high school students, and community college students in Western NC and Upstate SC.  We invite  middle school, high school, and community college students in Western NC and Upstate SC to use your creativity to inspire people to view the eclipse (safely) and to understand more about what is happening during a solar eclipse.

When:  Now! The deadline has been extended to June 15

Who: The contest is open to students in NC counties of Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Haywood, Henderson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey and students in SC counties of Oconee, Pickens, Anderson, and Greenville.

The following prizes will be awarded:
Middle School – Visual Art, Sculpture, Poetry ($100 each) and Grand Prize ($300)
High School – Visual Art, Sculpture, Poetry, ($100 each) and Grand Prize ($300)
Community College – Visual Art, Sculpture, Poetry ($100 each) and Grand Prize ($300)

Winning artworks will be displayed at the Blue Ridge Public Radio studios, Asheville Museum of Science, and Pisgah Astronomical Research  Institute (PARI).

To learn more about the contest click here and to apply for this juried art-science competition, download the application.

Thanks to the American Astronomical Society Julena Steinheider Duncombe Mini-Grants program for making this project possible.