For approximately two minutes and 30 seconds, the sun’s corona will be visible to the naked eye as the moon aligns with the sun for a solar eclipse.
The solar eclipse will take place today. Here is all you need to know.
What is a solar eclipse?
A total solar eclipse is when the path of totality, or the area of the earth in which the moon will completely cover the sun, will cover areas of North America from Oregon to South Carolina.
A partial solar eclipse is when the moon will partially cover the sun, with around a 95 percent coverage according to the Little Shop of Physics, a group on campus.
How to view the solar eclipse
Although the total solar eclipse can be viewed with the naked eye, this only lasts for the duration of the totality. While the solar eclipse is heading towards or away from totality, solar eclipse glasses, approved by NASA, are needed to protect your eyes from the sun. These glasses can be bought from the Little Shop of Physics, located in the physics building on the north side of campus.
With predictions of the total solar eclipse attendance being at 600,000 in Wyoming alone, traffic from Fort Collins to Wyoming and Nebraska is expected to be very heavy for this weekend and on Monday, August 21st.
The Colorado Department of Transportation encourages eclipse watchers to be careful while driving around interstates and advises drivers to be prepared for a lot of traffic and delays. CDOT also advises that those planning to see the total solar eclipse plan ahead on a destination to safely view the solar eclipse.
“Don’t park on any highway shoulder or in any ditch area,” said Jared Fiel, CDOT’s Region 4 Communications Manager. “That can not only be dangerous for you and other drivers, but a person’s car exhaust could start a grass fire.”
To stay up to date with traffic and other alerts:
In addition to the traffic headed north towards the totality line, the day of the solar eclipse is also the first day of classes for Colorado State University students.
Classes still in session
Although this unique event is happening on the first day of classes, classes will not be cancelled. While it was suggested by students and faculty that the University cancel classes on Monday, the University denied this request.
“CSU’s academic calendar is set years in advance, and classes are only cancelled for safety reasons, such as weather emergencies or at the discretion of faculty members, who lead their own classrooms,” said Dell Rae Ciaravola, CSU’s Public Safety and Risk Communications Manager.
Ciaravola predicts that traffic volume may be high along the Front Range due to the amount of people traveling to the totality line or those participating in partial solar eclipse viewing on campus.
“CSUPD and the university recommend that students, faculty and staff consider taking alternative transportation such as the MAX or Transfort, or walk or bike to campus on Monday, if concerned about traffic volume,” Ciaravola said.
On campus viewing
Anyone interested in viewing the solar eclipse on campus will have an opportunity to do so at the Little Shop of Physics, which will hold a viewing opportunity from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. near the intersection of Meridian Avenue and University Avenue. Telescopes will be used to show the eclipse, and solar eclipse glasses will be sold for the event.
Reporter Julia Trowbridge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @chapin_jules.