Despite clouds and even a little rain, the Eclipse Watch for the partial eclipse on Saturday, Oct. 14, was a big success. A constant stream of visitors came to learn about the eclipse, tour the Observatory, and take part in activities. Even the clouds parted briefly to let the Sun through, so visitors got a quick glimpse of the eclipse itself. All of our graduate and undergraduate student volunteers were well prepared, enthusiastic, and welcoming.
Kristin Baker and Sarah Popp did a great job of preparing for the event – planning activities, gathering supplies, and organizing volunteers. Lexi Gault provided graphics and designs – the volunteer t-shirts are epic! And Sarah managed our social media throughout with lively tweets.
Our Volunteers getting a look at the eclipse
Thanks to Bob Lezotte, Brice Adams, Jessica Ranshaw, and Daniel Ornelas, our live stream of the eclipse was a hit. Kudos to Jessica and Daniel or providing the live commentary, certainly a challenge with the cloudy weather, but they did a terrific job! Bob served as our studio engineer, making sure we had the right technology to make it work, and work well; and Brice provide the live view of the Sun whenever clouds permitted.
Also represented at the Eclipse Watch were the IU School of Optometry to make sure our visitors knew how to watch the eclipse safely, the Indiana Geological and Water Survey to demonstrate their equipment to monitor environmental changes during the eclipse, the Luddy School to share telescope views of the eclipse, and the Physics Department with telescopes and other activities to demonstrate the properties of light.
The partial eclipse provide an opportunity to rehearse for the big event next April. And we’re clearly ready!