The Great Tennessee Eclipse at MTSU, a public open house on campus to discuss and watch the Aug. 21 solar totality, has been designated by NASA as one of its six official viewing sites in the greater Nashville area.
In a letter announcing the selection, C. Alex Young, principal investigator of the agency’s Total Solar Eclipse 2017 efforts, thanked the university for “collaborating with NASA to engage your audience in activities and observation.”
NASA will provide MTSU with materials that the university will use and distribute at its Aug. 21 event, organized by the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and presented by Turner Construction. You can read about NASA’s efforts at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov.
“We are pleased our viewing event has earned notice from NASA,” said President Sidney A. McPhee. “This will be a remarkable opportunity for visitors on our campus to learn about this phenomenon and gain the insight of our faculty from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.”
On Aug. 21, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun for the first time since 1979. However, the path of totality, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s corona, can only be seen along a band that stretches from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina, and includes Nashville, Murfreesboro and other Middle Tennessee communities.
MTSU’s event, which will be held in the green space in front of the new Science Building, will include a music stage featuring student bands from Match Records, the student label in the College of Media and Entertainment, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; self-guided tours of the three-building Science Corridor of Innovation; and various science-information tents on the grounds with activities run by our faculty.
From 12:30 to 1:15 p.m., the music stage will feature a science show with professors prepping the crowd for the solar phenomenon. The totality will be at 1:29 p.m. and last about a minute.
Protective eclipse-viewing glasses, provided by Turner, will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for free at the event. Turner, which oversaw construction of the Science Building and the renovation of other buildings along the MTSU Science Corridor of Innovation, donated 50,000 pairs of eclipse glasses to students in the Murfreesboro City and Rutherford County school systems.
Information about parking, event site access and other important details for the event can be found at http://www.mtsu.edu/eclipse.