Winona State University’s Geoscience Department will host a solar eclipse viewing event from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21 on WSU’s Main Campus.

The entire Winona Community is invited to view the eclipse safely using a number of techniques such as telescopes with solar filters, eclipse glasses and pinhole cameras. Telescopes, viewing devices and information will be set up in two locations on campus: on the lawn in front of Phelps Hall and between Kryzsko Commons and Minne Hall.

The eclipse will start at 11:45 a.m. local time when the Moon’s disk first makes contact with the Sun’s disk. The maximum eclipse, as seen from Winona, will occur at 1:09 p.m. when the Moon’s disk covers approximately 85 percent of the Sun. The eclipse will end when the Moon’s disk moves off the Sun’s disk by 2:31 p.m. People are welcome to stop by any time during this three-hour period to view the Sun, learn about eclipses and enjoy this rare and unique astronomical event.

The event is free and open to the public.

“The important thing to remember is to NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN with your eyes or through a telescope or binoculars unless you are absolutely sure that the proper protections have been put in place,” said WSU Geoscience professor, Jennifer Anderson. “The Sun is strong enough to burn your retina and ruin your vision in seconds.”

According to Anderson, there are multiple ways to safely view the solar eclipse.

“I like to use a kitchen colander,” Anderson said. “Take it outside and turn your back to the Sun. Hold up the colander so that the sunlight shines through the holes and falls on the ground or a table. What you will see is a bunch of ‘crescent Suns’ as each of the colander’s holes acts as a pinhole camera and projects the eclipse safely in front of you.”

Another way to view the solar eclipse is to build a pinhole camera and project the eclipse onto the ground. For more information about the solar eclipse or how to build a pinhole camera, visit https://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/how-to-view-eclipse?media=7976.

For more information, contact Jennifer Anderson at 507-457-2457 or JLAnderson@winona.edu.

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Brian Waldbillig

Brian is a Public Relations major and Communication Studies minor from Farmington, MN. His hobbies include photography, hiking and going to concerts.