TOPEKA (KSNT) – Several eclipse watch parties are being announced ahead of a rare solar event set to appear above much of the U.S.
An annular solar eclipse, otherwise known as a ‘ring of fire’ eclipse, will appear overhead on Oct. 14, 2023, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The event will be viewable by people living in North, Central and South America.
Kansans will be able to view anywhere between 60-80% of the eclipse depending on where they live in the state. Those living in the northeast will be on the low end of this figure with those living in the southwest being able to see the majority of the eclipse. The eclipse will be seen at different times depending on where you’re located in the state.
Local astronomy groups and observatories have events planned to watch this event next month. More details on each one can be found below.
Karen Camarda, professor and chair of physics and astronomy at Washburn University (WU) in Topeka, told KSNT 27 News there will be a watch party from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the lawn south of Stoffer Science Hall at 1700 SW College Avenue. The eclipse will be viewable from 10:23 a.m. to 1:19 p.m. from this area. You do not need to sign up for this event and all members of the public are welcome to attend.
Eclipse glasses, which are necessary to view a solar event like this safely, will be available at no cost while supplies last on the day of the event. You should never look at an eclipse without the use of protective equipment, according to NASA. Camarda said a telescope with a solar filter will also be on hand for people to look through. Other methods to view an eclipse safely will be shared during the event.
For more information, you are encouraged to reach out to the physics and astronomy department at 785-670-2141 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check the Crane Observatory website before going to the event to see if there has been a cancellation or delays due to weather.
University of Kansas
Brendan Lynch with the University of Kansas said in a press release there will be a viewing party held on the university’s campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 14 courtesy of the Department of Physics & Astronomy. Telescopes will be on hand for the event just outside of Malott Hall’s north side at 1251 Wescoe Hall Drive.
“Solar eclipses, when the moon blocks the sun’s light, are fairly rare,” said Jennifer Delgado, associate teaching professor of physics & astronomy at KU. “We’re lucky that we will have two partial eclipses within a year, both visible here in Lawrence. For a partial eclipse, it’s hard to tell that anything is going on unless you look at the sun with eclipse glasses or a solar telescope. With a telescope, you can see just how much of the sun is being blocked and even see some sunspots. We’re excited to share our telescopes on campus so everyone can safely view this pretty unique sight.”
Looking for more information on the event? Send an email to Delgado at email@example.com.
The Northeast Kansas Amateur Astronomers’ League (NEKAAL) is holding an eclipse viewing party at Lake Shawnee’s swim beach parking lot. This will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
NEKAAL will provide attendees with a solar-safe telescope, sun spotter and a limited number of solar eclipse glasses. Local astronomers will also be available to assist people with viewing the eclipse. Updates for the viewing will be made on the NEKAAL’s website.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 14, the Astronomical Society of Kansas City at Powell Observatory will be holding an eclipse viewing event. The eclipse will start at 10:25 a.m. and reach its maximum point at 11:50 a.m., according to the observatory.
Astronomical activities, games and learning opportunities will be present for the event. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, blanket and family members to help celebrate the occasion. Free eclipse glasses will be available at the observatory.
People looking to participate will need to get tickets which can be found by clicking here. Ticket prices range from free for children under five up to $10 for adults and teens over 13. The observatory can be found at 26500 Melrose Street in Louisburg.
Lawrence Public Library
The Astronomy Associates of Lawrence (AAL) said it would hold an eclipse observation event on the Lawrence Public Library’s lawn, according to a social media post from the organization. The event can be found at 707 Vermont Street and will go from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Telescopes will be on hand for people to view the eclipse safely, according to the AAL. For more information, you can reach out to the AAL at 785-864-4626 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flint Hills Discovery Center
The discovery center in Manhattan will be holding an eclipse viewing event with K-State Professor Chris Sorensen giving a special presentation at 10 a.m. on the day of the eclipse, according to the Flint Hills Discovery Center’s social media. During this presentation Sorensen will talk about safe ways to view an eclipse and what is special about it.
The eclipse will reach its maximum around 11:45 a.m., at which point people will be able to see 70% of it, according to the discovery center. The viewing will be at the Flint Hills Discovery Center’s Blue Earth Plaza from 10 a.m. to noon. All are welcome to attend with telescopes and solar viewing glass being provided for the occasion.
Ellis Public Library
The Ellis Public Library in northwestern Kansas will be holding an eclipse watch party in Memorial Park from 10:30 a.m. till the peak of the eclipse at 11:45 a.m., according to the library’s social media. A solar safe telescope, sun spotter and solar glasses will be provided to those who show up along with “Eclipse Cookies.”
Do you know about an eclipse watch party and don’t see it on the list above? Send it to KSNT 27 News by clicking here or sending an email to email@example.com. To keep up with breaking news in northeast Kansas, download our mobile app.