Eclipse party scheduled at Sternberg Museum

Sternberg eclipse 2017

HAYS, Kan. - Total eclipse 2017 will be a participatory sport, and Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History will play its part in this national event with a celebration of exhibits, activities, and programs, indoors and out.

Hays is not in the totality zone, but the moon will cover about 95 percent of the sun during maximum eclipse at 12:59 p.m. The Sternberg party begins at 10 a.m. Monday at the museum.

A highlight will be a large screen projection of NASA's live feed as the eclipse progresses across the United States and will include images from before, during and after the eclipse collected from 11 spacecraft, more than 50 high-altitude balloons, at least three NASA aircraft, the International Space Station and ground stations along the path of totality.

Activities include The Big Blink, a special exhibition detailing the what, when, where, why, how and who of the total solar eclipse. Telescopes with various solar filters for viewing different aspects of the eclipse will be available.

Stations include an interactive play-with-sun-shadows station and planetarium shows.

Spectators will also be able to make their own pinhole projection viewers. The museum will provide boxes while supplies last, or participants can bring their own empty cereal box.

Lunch hour does not have to be sacrificed to the eclipse: Smokin' Co. BBQ and Taco Riendo will be on hand offering their lunch specialties, and Ice Cream Express will be on site for cool desserts.

Investigation Stations will also be available to learn how to explore with downloadable planetarium software, science phone apps, citizen science projects and more.

Safety-certified eclipse glasses and other eclipse supplies will be available for purchase in the museum's Excavations Gift Shop.

The schedule:

10 a.m.: Celebration begins.

11:05 a.m.: First contact in Salem, Ore., as the moon starts to cover the sun's disk.

11:32 a.m.: The moon's shadow begins to be visible in Hays.

12:35-37 p.m.: Totality is reached in Salem, Ore.

12:59 p.m.: Maximum eclipse is reached in Hays with 94.6 percent of the sun occluded.

1:46-48 p.m.: Totality reached in Charleston, S.C.

2:27 p.m.:
In Hays, the full diameter of the sun emerges from behind the moon.

In addition to the Sternberg Museum, celebration sponsors are the Fort Hays State University Foundation, The Meckenstock Group and Dock's Boat & RV.

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