Great American Eclipse- August 21, 2017

Thanks to all who attended our eclipse party!                   Over 1,400 visitors!

First, I want to thank everyone so very much for joining us at the Dudley Observatory at miSci for the eclipse yesterday! miSci saw over 1,400 people for the event. Visitors enjoyed the eclipse through telescopes, eclipse glasses, Sunspotters, welder’s glass, and even through tree leaves that projected the image onto the ground. Many people told us that they had a blast and couldn’t wait for the next big astronomical event. It truly was a “great” eclipse!

We would not have been this successful without a great group of volunteers. Over 30 volunteers, many of which were middle and high school students in our Rising Star internship program, helped the public enjoy the eclipse. These students have spent time at the Dudley Observatory learning how to operate telescopes and engage with people at star parties. Our new crop of Rising Stars experienced firsthand what a massive star party can be like, and I am so proud of them for dealing with the large crowds at the eclipse event. We also had Schenectady Ambassadors helping with parking, miSci staff members running classes and planetarium shows, and our Schenectady High School student Explainers entertaining people inside the science center. Thank you to all!

Now that the eclipse is over, you probably have some eclipse glasses that you aren’t sure what to do with. DON’T THROW THEM OUT! The Dudley Observatory at miSci is participating in a solar glasses recycling program run by Astronomers Without Borders (AWB). The glasses will be redistributed across South America and Asia for the 2019 total solar eclipse. They will be used by science educators in schools that can’t afford to provide glasses for their students. If you would like to donate your eclipse glasses to this wonderful program, miSci will have a collection box at the front desk. Just drop your glasses in the box and we will send them to AWB for testing and distribution.

The next time we will experience a partial solar eclipse New York state is June 10, 2021, and a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. If your glasses are ISO 12312-2 compliant, they can be saved for an upcoming eclipse. But let’s be honest, the chances of not losing these glasses or keeping them scratch free for 4+ years is pretty much zero. Remember how special it was to watch the eclipse on August 21st? Let’s give children across the world the same wonderful opportunity to safely view a solar eclipse in 2019. Donate your glasses today!

Upcoming Dudley Observatory Events:

Octagon Barn Star Party – August 25th, 8pm, Octagon Barn in Delanson Monthly FREE star parties and lectures 3 seasons/year
Speaker: Dr. Rebecca Koopman (Union) “Star Formation in Galaxy Groups and Clusters”
Senior Science Day – September 4th, 3pm, miSci Senior Science afternoons are the first Monday of every month
“The Terrestrial Planets” adult lesson
Night Sky Adventure – September 19th, 8pm, miSci Night Sky Adventures are every third Tuesday
“Our Friend the Moon” lesson and star party
National Astronomy Day – September 30th
Hands on activities and observing at miSci all day
International Observe the Moon Night – October 28th, 5-8pm, miSci
Hands on activities and moon observing