Free Public Viewing at UC Riverside of Partial Solar Eclipse on Oct. 23

Special eclipse viewing glasses will be provided

A partial solar eclipse.

A partial solar eclipse takes place when the moon obscures only a portion of the sun from our view. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The next total solar eclipse, when the moon hides all of the sun from our view, will take place in August 2017. But we need not wait that long.  A partial solar eclipse, when the moon obscures only a portion of the sun from our view, will be seen in most of the continental United States on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014.  For Riverside, the eclipse will begin at 2:10 p.m. and end at 4:40 p.m., with a maximum eclipse at 3:29 p.m.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside will host a free public eclipse-viewing that day near the bell tower on campus. The viewing will begin at 2 p.m. and end at 3:45 p.m.  Special eclipse viewing glasses and telescopes will be available for the public to use.

“The partial solar eclipse on Oct. 23 will be the last opportunity to see this kind of event in the country up until the total solar eclipse of August 2017,” said Mario De Leo Winkler, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy who is organizing the viewing. “On Oct. 23, the farther north you are in the country – Alaska, Washington, Montana, Minnesota, North Dakota – the more the moon will cover the solar disc, up to approximately 60 percent. The west coast will be able to see the eclipse easily, while the eastern portion of the United States will have the sun very low in the horizon during the maximum eclipse time.”

Photo shows Mario De Leo Winkler.

Mario De Leo Winkler is a postdoctoral researcher in UC Riverside’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Photo credit: I. Pittalwala, UC Riverside.

Solar eclipses take place when the moon comes in between the sun and the Earth and the moon casts a narrow shadow on Earth’s surface.

“If you are fortunate enough to be within the shadow’s area, as we will be on Oct. 23 in Riverside, then you will see how the moon takes ‘a bite’ out of the solar disc,” De Leo Winker said. “Solar eclipses – partial or total – should never be seen directly without proper equipment.”

He explained that solar eclipses come in three versions due to the moon’s orbit not being perfectly circular around the Earth. Partial solar eclipses, such as the one on Oct. 23, take place when the alignment between the sun, moon and the Earth is close but not perfect, and the moon only partially covers the sun as seen from the Earth.  Total solar eclipses take place when the sun, moon and the Earth are perfectly aligned (the centers of these bodies lie on a straight line) and when the moon is close enough from the Earth to completely cover the sun from us.  Annular solar eclipses happen when the sun, moon and the Earth are perfectly aligned, but the moon is farther from the Earth and therefore incapable of covering the sun completely from us, leaving a ring – or annulus – of solar light around the moon.

For more information about the eclipse-viewing event at UC Riverside and experiments that you can do at home or school for safe viewing, please email or call (951) 827-5415. The astronomy group at UCR will be available at the event to answer the public’s questions in English, Spanish and Farsi.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-6050
Twitter: UCR_Sciencenews

Additional Contacts

Mario De Leo Winkler
Tel: (951) 827-5415

Archived under: Inside UCR, Science/Technology, , , , , ,

Top of Page