Solar eclipse viewing events planned around the Valley

As the moon covers the sun today during the first solar eclipse since 1979, locations around the Mahoning Valley will host viewing events.

Mill Creek MetroParks will host a viewing event in partnership with Youngstown State University’s Ward Beecher Planetarium. Patrick Durrell, professor of physics and astronomy at YSU and director of the planetarium, will lead the event at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield.

“They’re bringing three telescopes that people can take turns viewing the eclipse as it’s going on,” said Maureen Weetman, Mill Creek MetroParks program and events coordinator. “They’re bringing solar shades. It’s going to be one per person, first come, first served. We’re going to have a looping presentation about the solar eclipse. We’re going to have children’s activities. … And we’re also going to be broadcasting a live feed of the total eclipse.”

The Youngstown area is not in the path of the total solar eclipse. Total eclipse will take place across a 60-mile-wide path across 12 states. In this area, the moon will obscure 83 percent of the sun at the event’s peak.

The partial eclipse will begin shortly after 1 p.m., with the peak about 2:30 p.m. and the end about 4 p.m. The peak lasts about 21/2 minutes.

Weetman said the MetroParks has received a flood of inquiries about the viewing event.

“It’s been many, many years since the last one, and it’s going to be another six years before there’s another eclipse, so people are really interested in seeing what takes place,” she said.

She encouraged people to come out to the farm for the event because “it’s a great educational moment.”

Also, Boardman science teachers are planning a Solar Eclipse Extravaganza at Boardman Spartan Stadium.

In addition to giving away 200 pairs of solar-eclipse glasses (which must be used to safely view the event), the eclipse will be shown through a solar filter camera on a jumbo screen at the stadium.

Additionally, OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology is offering visitors the chance to make pinhole projectors, free with admission to the museum. The museum also will have a viewing event.


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