SALEM, Ore. – Located along the path of totality for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, Willamette University will host a free viewing beginning at 8 a.m. on the university’s north lawn, which is across State Street from the Oregon State Capitol.
Hundreds of scientists will participate, including a large team led by Jay Pasachoff, noted eclipse researcher and professor of astronomy at Williams College.
More than a hundred scientists from the American Astronomical Society’s Solar Physics Division will be on hand to answer questions and to lead science demonstrations during Monday’s viewing; with hundreds of researchers visiting to experiment and observe during the eclipse, the viewing may feature world’s largest gathering of solar scientists.
The eclipse research isn’t limited to professional scientists. In partnership with the National Solar Observatory, Willamette will also host a citizen scientist working on the Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse Experiment.
A series of eclipse-related talks leads up to Monday’s viewing. Campus events kick off in Roger’s Music Center on Friday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. with a lecture by astronomer and author Ray Jayawardhana, who will present "A Spectacle Like No Other: The Science and Adventure of Chasing Solar Eclipses.” Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at willamette.edu/go/eclipse.
On Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m., Willamette professor and cosmologist Rick Watkins will give a free pub talk entitled, “"Distilled: from the Eclipse to the Big Bang.” The pub talk is geared for the public, and no ticket is needed. A Q-and-A session will follow the presentation at Shotski’s Woodfired Pizza, just east of campus at 1230 State Street.
For more information and to purchase tickets for Friday’s talk, visit willamette.edu/go/eclipse.