Head to the WVU Planetarium for celestial fun this September and October.
I don’t know about you, but I made plans to be in Upstate New York for the total solar eclipse in April 2024 about five minutes after being mind-blown by the eclipse in Tennessee in August 2017.
But you don’t have to wait all the way until next spring to pass through the moon’s shadow. You can get a booster shot (there’s a rocket booster–moon shot pun in there somewhere, right?) at the WVU Planetarium in September and October.
Two eclipse programs at the Planetarium will include screenings of the documentary Totality: on September 1 in Spanish and on September 15 in English. The programs require pre-registration, and shows are limited to 50 attendees each. Planetarium shows are free and open to the public.
Then, from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, the Planetarium will host a viewing of a partial solar eclipse. The path of totality for that eclipse crosses western and southwestern states—in Morgantown, about 35% of the sun will be obscured. If you view it on your own, remember to use eclipse-viewing glasses.
A point of interest for my fellow space geeks: The October 14 eclipse will not be total, but annular. That is, the moon will be near its greatest distance from Earth and will look smaller to us, so even in the path of totality it won’t cover the sun entirely but will appear to be surrounded by a ring of fire—probably an even more awe-inspiring spectacle than a total eclipse.
It’s all part of why Earth is the best planet. See you at the Planetarium!