Mott Community College prepares for solar eclipse viewing party

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FLINT (WJRT) - (08/17/17) - While everyday folks will use the solar eclipse as an opportunity to get together and hangout, for students at Mott Community College, it will also be a learning experience.

"Appreciate the science would be a wonderful first step and to know that things like a solar eclipse - while they happen frequently, every few years - they happen in parts and across the world where people can't ever see them," said Todd Troutman, MCC dean of science and mathematics.

On Aug. 21 at 1:45 p.m., students will gather on the west side of the Gorman Science building.

"My thought was we'd have maybe 100 people from our, you know, colleges stop by on occasion, but I'm hearing more teachers talking about bringing their students, a group from Swartz Creek students are coming over," Troutman said.

Troutman says if they have to share the specially-certified glasses to catch a glimpse, then they will.

Henry Jordan III hasn't made viewing plans yet, but is definitely hoping to witness the eclipse in person.

"I'm very excited to see how it's going to go just because it's a once in a generation thing," Jordan said.

MCC's two astronomers are both out of town, heading to states where they can view the total eclipse. Michigan will see a partial eclipse with about 80 percent coverage. The educators will bring back their experiences to share with students.

Whatever your viewing experience might be, you have the chance to also participate in a science experiment conducted by NASA. It's just one component of how researchers will be gathering data on this rare phenomenon. Click the link in the 'Related Links' section of this story to learn more about that.

"For students to have a chance to just be around a group of people, put on the glasses, experience it, it will be a memory they will have for the rest of their life," Troutman said.

Who knows? After Mondays big event, some students may be moved to explore astronomy even more.

Check out the story below this story for some safety precautions you should take if you plan on viewing.

Solar Eclipse Party
When: Monday, Aug. 21, 2017
Time: 1:45 PM -2:45 PM
Where: West side of Gorman Science Building
Viewing glasses and chairs will be provided
Host: Science and Mathematics Division, Todd Troutman contact
#1 ranked free app: Smithsonian Eclipse 2017


(08/16/17) - The countdown is on - we are now just five days away from Solar Eclipse 2017.

Dr. Edward Stack, with the Michigan Vision Institute, shared with us how to protect our eyes while trying to catch a glimpse.

We checked around and most retailers have sold out of the special solar shields used to view the rare phenomenon. Online, you may be able to still get your hands on a pair, but it must be marked with the proper code.

"The code is ISO12312-2," Stack said. "It's a special solar filter that actually will block the majority of the sun's rays of light, and it will block on the order of about 100,000 fold decrease in the amount of rays of light that would penetrate this filter."

CDs, beer bottles and sunglasses will not work. Stack says pinhole cameras made out of cereal boxes could do the trick, but they give you an indirect view.

For more information on the Solar Eclipse, click the link in the 'Related Links' section of this story.

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