Evansville, IN — Ivy Tech Community College will not be distributing free solar viewing glasses at its Eclipse viewing party on Aug. 21 as had been reported earlier, due to a recall notice from Amazon today. This is affecting thousands of customers throughout the nation, according to Amazon. On its website, Amazon stated, “Safety is among our highest priorities. Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively reached out to customers and provided refunds for eclipse glasses that may not comply with industry standards,” the website stated.
Ivy Tech purchased from a NASA-approved company, and the safety glasses had the correct ISO and Shade Level requirements. “However, we have made the decision not to distribute the glasses, but to use alternative safer means to experience the 99% totality at our viewing party,” said Marsha Jackson, executive director of marketing and communication.
At the Ivy Tech viewing party, “It’s a New Day at Ivy Tech,” materials will be provided to make an inexpensive pinhole projector so that individuals can safely – with their back to the sun – view an inverted image of the movement of the moon over the sun on a piece of cardboard. Directions will be provided at the event.
Discussion about the eclipse will be led by Michael Hosack, assistant professor of physics at Ivy Tech. The event takes place on Monday from 11:55 a.m. (CST) to 2:49 p.m. (CST) with maximum coverage at 1:24 p.m. The viewing party will be located on Ivy Tech’s northeast parking lot, at the corner of Colonial Avenue and Tremont Road on the Ivy Tech Campus at 3501 N. First Avenue in Evansville. The event is free and open to the public.
“We are pleased to be able to share our faculty member’s expertise with our students and members of the community, during this unusual Eclipse which is occurring not only here – but across the United States,” said Chancellor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “Our faculty member, Dr. Hosack, is looking forward to sharing his insight in a safe and informative environment, as the moon passes between the earth and the sun.”
Hosack has been with Ivy Tech since 2013. Prior to Ivy Tech, he was a visiting assistant professor of physics at Purdue University, and worked for three years at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, as a scientist working on radiation detectors for satellites. He will lead an informal discussion intermittently as the first hour of the Eclipse is viewed.
According to the website, “Great American Eclipse,” solar eclipses occur because of a cosmic coincidence: “the Sun is just about the same apparent size in our sky as the Moon. While the sun is actually about 400 times larger in diameter that the moon, the moon is also about 400 times closer than the sun. Therefore, the sun and moon appear to be about the same size in our sky.” The coming Eclipse is special because “it will be accessible to so many millions of Americans…There is a 60 to 70 mile wide path of totality,” according to the website. This year’s Eclipse is special because it cuts diagonally across the entire United States. The last time a total solar eclipse swept the whole width of the U.S. was in 1918.
Totality will cross from Oregon to Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Evansville is not in that path of totality, but individuals will be able to see an Eclipse that covers 99% of the sun. The next total solar Eclipse that will be in the U.S. will occur on April 8, 2024. The line of totality will cross from Texas, up through the Midwest, almost directly over Indianapolis, Cleveland, Buffalo, NY, and over New England to Maine, then to Canada.
For those with questions, please contact Marsha Jackson, at email@example.com