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Watch the April 8 Eclipse on Nantucket with Maria Mitchell Astronomers & Staff

Join Nantucket’s Maria Mitchell Association astronomers and staffe for a free, safe viewing of the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse. Planned in collaboration with Nantucket Public Schools, the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club, and the Nantucket Community School, this event will be held Monday, April 8 from 2:30 to 4:30 pm at the NHS Retired Baseball Field (adjacent to Newtown Cemetery).

During a total solar eclipse the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned in such a way that the disk of the Moon appears to completely cover the disk of the Sun for a few minutes. This special alignment creates a totally dark shadow on a small patch of the surface of the Earth, approximately 115 miles wide. This shadow will follow a path across North America beginning on the western coast of Mexico, and traveling North and East through Texas, the midwestern states, and up through Maine.

Here on Nantucket, which is located outside of the path of totality, the eclipse will be partial. At the height of the eclipse, also called “maximum eclipse,” the Moon will cover approximately 87% of the disk of the Sun.

The eclipse begins at 2:17 pm and ends at 4:39 pm. The maximum partial eclipse seen from Nantucket Island happens at 3:30 pm. As of today, weather on Nantucket is predicted to be fair with some clouds but no rain.

Solar eclipse glasses will be provided: sunglasses will not protect your eyes sufficiently. It is never safe to look directly at the sun without proper safe solar viewing glasses or devices. Do not look at the sun until your glasses are properly placed over your eyes.
To properly use solar glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 solar filter safety standard:
~ First look at the ground;
~ Then place the solar glasses over your eyes while looking down;
~ Look up at the sky with the solar glasses secured over your eyes.

During this event on April 8, different science stations will be available, along with activities for safe solar viewing. This MMA program is complimentary and designed to be interesting for all ages! No registration is necessary.

Solar Eclipse image by: Dr. Regina Jorgenson

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