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Westmoreland

St. Vincent College offers viewing of solar eclipse

Jeff Himler
| Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, 4:33 p.m.

Those wishing to safely view the upcoming partial solar eclipse are invited to do so from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 21 in front of the Sis and Herman Dupre Science Pavilion on the St. Vincent College campus in Unity.

In Westmoreland County, the eclipse — which will occur when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun — is expected to begin at 1:10 p.m. and end at 3:55 p.m. The maximum eclipse, when 80 percent of the sun will be blocked, should happen at about 2:35 p.m.

“Safe, projected viewing opportunities will be available,” said John Smetanka, vice president of academic affairs, academic dean and associate professor of physics at the college near Latrobe. “Eclipse glasses with special solar filters will also be available.”

Smetanka advised that the eclipse should be viewed with such glasses or through a pinhole projector — not with the naked eye or standard sunglasses, since looking directly at the sun can cause permanent eye damage.

In case of inclement weather, the viewing will be moved inside the college's Angelo J. Taiani Planetarium.

The eclipse will be the first visible from the continental United States since 1972. The next will occur on April 8, 2024.

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