On August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse swept in a thin arc across the country, and a partial eclipse was viewable across almost the entire continental United States. This also happened to be the first day of the 2017-2018 academic year, and students all over Colorado State University took a break from their studies to watch this rare celestial event.
Thousands of people gathered on the fields near the center of the Colorado State University campus to share in the experience of an eclipse that, in Fort Collins, peaked at 95% solar coverage, and small groups of people collected across campus to do the same. The Little Shop of Physics shared 7,000 pairs of solar eclipse glasses in 40 minutes at the campus viewing event, and we handed out 4,000 pairs of glasses at RamWelcome, an event for incoming CSU freshmen. CSU community members were able to pick up glasses from the Physics Department in the weeks leading up to the eclipse. All told, members of the CSU campus community received nearly 20,000 pairs of certified eclipse glasses from LSOP and sponsored by ESMEI.
We also shared other ways to safely enjoy the eclipse, including using telescopes and other creative objects (like a kitchen colander!) to project images of the sun. About 15 minutes before the eclipse peaked, our solar powered grasshoppers went still. What an awesome experience!
For more about all of our August 2017 eclipse related actives, please visit http://www.lsop.colostate.edu/2017/08/24/solar-eclipse/