Local Prof. to view Eclipse

Columbus State professor heading south to witness upcoming total solar eclipse

For some, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. And if you’re an astronomer, having a total eclipse of the sun in your backyard means there’s nothing that can stop you for witnessing it. That’s why Dr. Michael Fisher, an adjunct professor at Columbus State, is heading south on August 21.

That’s the day a large swath of the United States – from northwest to southeast – will be in the path of a total eclipse. Fisher and his wife are heading to Harriman, Tenn. to watch the event unfold. The town is just outside Knoxville and is in the direct path where everyone will be able to see the eclipse in its totality. Fisher says, “One of the true benefits when you’re directly under a total eclipse is that you can see the corona – or the outside atmosphere of the sun.”

Fisher has previously taught at Ohio State University and Ohio Northern University. He began teaching at Columbus State last year after retiring from Battelle where he was a Research Leader in High Energy Physics, also known as explosives.

As for his interest in astronomy, it began early on. “I grew up during the space race of the 60s,” says Fisher. “I watched all of it, John Glenn, the moon landing. I got my first telescope for Christmas one year and I’ve loved astronomy ever since.”

While Fisher has seen partial eclipses of the sun, he’s never witnessed a total eclipse in person because it’s rare that there’s one as close as this one will be. Teaching astronomy, of course, includes eclipses. He urged everyone in last semester’s class to get in a car and go see this one since it can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He says, “Next semester I’ll spend a day giving a first-person account of this eclipse and include some of the pictures I’ll be taking.”

For Fisher, it couldn’t have worked out any better. The eclipse happens between semesters, allowing him plenty of time to travel down and witness his first total solar eclipse.

Among the Eclipse events

Skies will darken during the solar eclipse on August 21. Join COSI and Metro Parks for a solar eclipse celebration and family-friendly, hands-on activities at Homestead Metro Park, 4675 Cosgray Rd, Hilliard, Ohio 43026. COSI is providing free solar glasses to the first 300 participants. The full eclipse will be at 2:30 p.m., so be sure to have your solar glasses ready.

WARNING: Never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Meet at the Barn Shelter. Free Admission. Kid Friendly.

For more information, call 614-891-0700 or email info@metroparks.net

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The expected areas for best U.S. viewing of the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2017/08/web1_TSE2017-usa.jpgThe expected areas for best U.S. viewing of the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.


Staff Reports

Fun Facts

To encourage Americans to get outside for the 2017 solar eclipse, Hipcamp [https://www.hipcamp.com/discover]—a startup that creates new campsites by unlocking access to beautiful private lands such as nature preserves, farms, and ranches—is sharing 5 essential eclipse facts and 772 places to camp in the path of totality.

1. THE SUN WILL PUT A RING ON IT In the last few seconds before the eclipse, sunlight streaming through the Moon’s valleys creates a bright flash of light on the side of the moon known as the “diamond ring effect.”

2. CORONA ISN’T JUST A DRINK That glowing light halo around the dark solar eclipse has a name—it’s the “corona,” described by NASA as “the sun’s tenuous atmosphere.”

3. THE 7-YEAR ITCH IS REAL The last solar eclipse on the west coast occurred 38 years ago, so you don’t want to miss this opportunity. If you miss this eclipse, you’ll have to wait until April 8, 2024 for the next one. It will carve a path from Maine to Texas. The 2017 eclipse will run from South Carolina to Oregon.

4. OUR PLANETS GO THE DISTANCE The Earth, Moon, and Sun are currently perfect distances from each other, meaning we can see the corona during this eclipse. Millions of years ago, it was blocked. And millions of years in the future, total eclipses won’t be possible because the Moon will appear smaller than the sun.

5. ‘GREECE’ IS THE WORD The earliest predicted solar eclipse was in Ancient Greece in 585 BC. It was seen as an omen—one that caused a long-standing battle between the Medes and the Lydians to finally end!

Lodging and camping in the path of totality has been booked for months, and prices can be sky high. To make eclipse-viewing available to all, Hipcamp has been partnering with landowners to create new campsites in the eclipse path—over 1,300 new campsites popped up on Hipcamp in Oregon alone last month.