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Weekend fun: Tarleton hosting eclipse viewing party this Saturday. (And you’re invited!)

TSU Media Relations

Eclipse fever is on the rise in Texas.

The state is in the path of not one, but two solar eclipses within six months, the first arriving on Saturday, Oct. 14, — a busy day of astronomical exploration coordinated by the Tarleton State University College of Science and Mathematics.

A viewing party will be at 9:30 a.m. in the planetarium of the Lamar Johanson Science Building.

Hunewell Ranch northeast of Stephenville will host the Fall Star Party at 6:30 that evening at the university’s observatory.

All activities are open to the public.

Members of Tarleton’s Society of Physics Students will set up solar telescopes outside the planetarium Saturday morning so the public can safely view the annular eclipse.

Approved solar eclipse viewing glasses will be handed out while supplies last.

The Tarleton Planetarium also will feature special programming about eclipses, with shows cycling every 30 minutes. The first show will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the last at 1 p.m.

The Hunewell gates will open at 6:30 p.m. Inside the observatory, visitors will have access to Tarleton’s research-grade telescope, while outside several smaller yet powerful scopes will detail spectacular night-sky objects, including Jupiter, Saturn and neighboring galaxies.

Ideal night viewing occurs when conditions are as light-free as possible. Guests arriving will be asked to turn their headlights off (amber parking lamps only) as they approach the parking area.

Click here for a map with directions to Hunewell Ranch and information about Tarleton’s astronomy Program.

While the annular solar eclipse will create a memorable experience for Americans from Oregon to Texas, the total solar eclipse April 8, 2024, will provide a rare viewing opportunity that won’t be seen again in the U.S. for two decades.

The most recent total solar eclipse occurred in 2017, but its path of totality in the U.S. was well to the north of Texas.


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