Community views eclipse at COA Star Party

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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College of The Albemarle (COA) hosted a Star Party through the North Carolina Science Festival for the community to view the partial solar eclipse together on April 8, 2024.

From 2 to 4:30 p.m., with the peak viewing at about 3 p.m., hundreds of people throughout multiple counties gathered at four COA campuses to look at this rare solar event supported by the North Carolina Space Grant.

In North Carolina, the moon covered approximately 70-85% of the sun. Other areas of the United States were in the path of a total eclipse. The last total solar eclipse in the U.S. was on August 21, 2017, and the next one in the contiguous United States is expected on August 23, 2044.

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“At College of The Albemarle (COA), we’re thrilled to offer a special opportunity for our students, employees and community to celebrate the rare occurrence of a partial solar eclipse in northeastern North Carolina,” said Lisa Meads, dean of arts and sciences.

“This event presents an exciting chance for STEM engagement, and we’re excited to provide dedicated viewing locations on each of our campuses, along with interactive activities suitable for all ages. Through STEM events such as this, COA aims to ignite curiosity and provide opportunities for our community to explore STEM-related activities and careers,” Meads said.

COA offered free eclipse viewing glasses, as well as provided crafts for children.

“I thought it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen,” said Alexander, a 9-year old who came with his family to COA to view the eclipse. “I can’t wait for the next one.”