Solar Eclipse This Monday in Henniker

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This image depicts a partial solar eclipse on the left and a total solar eclipse on the right. Photo by:https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/

What is a solar eclipse? 

A total solar eclipse is the alignment of the Earth, Moon, and the Sun all at once. Around 3:15 p.m. on Monday, April 8, the moon will begin passing directly between Earth and Sun, completely blocking the sun. In Henniker, however, the eclipse will only be almost total.

In an interview with The New Englander, Tod Ramseyer, associate professor of Mathematics and Physics said that in Henniker, we will only have the effects of the sun being about 97% covered by the moon, as opposed to a full 100% if a viewer was to travel farther north into New Hampshire.

This will still cause the sky to darken as if it were night in the minutes during the eclipse.

“I think this will be really impressive and it will be cool to see, and the effects will be really noticeable,” Ramseyer said. 

Why is this important?

This opportunity doesn’t come around but every so often.

“You typically get 3 or 4 or 5 eclipses of one sort or another a year, but they aren’t always total, and the earth is mostly covered in water, most often they’re happening where there aren’t a lot of people,” Professor Ramseyer said. “My recollection is that the next time we get a total eclipse in the 48 contiguous United States, is about 20 years from now. And I think it like clips Montana and North Dakota briefly.”

So if you won’t be in Montana or North Dakota around 2044, you may want to head to Simon Lawn on Monday at around 3:15 p.m. to see the eclipse with Ramseyer and others.

How can we prepare to experience this?

There won’t be any official gatherings at NEC for this event, but Professor Ramseyer and possibly some others will be on Simon lawn during the eclipse with supplies to share. One very important thing that Ramseyer was adamant that students are aware of is to have protective eye gear.

“Please warn people, you should never look at the sun without appropriate eye protection,” Ramseyer said.

Regular sunglasses though, are not enough to protect your eyes from the harshness of the solar eclipse.

“Appropriate eye protection is not the cool sunglasses you wear to the beach or to go skiing,” Ramseyer said. “It’s eclipse glasses that, when you look through them at room lights, you can’t see anything.” 

If you have a few minutes on Monday afternoon, make sure you grab a pair of eclipse glasses from Professor Ramseyer on the Simon Lawn and watch the rare solar eclipse with him and other students and faculty.

“Simon Green, 3:15 to 3:45, I’ll be out there,” Ramseyer assured. 

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