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Solar eclipse viewing party set for Thursday

ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum and the Southern Oregon Skywatchers will host a partial solar eclipse viewing party at ScienceWorks on Thursday, Oct. 23. The free outdoor event begins at 1:30 and ends at 4:30 p.m., weather permitting. Filtered solar telescopes will be available for safe viewing of the sun.

Inside the museum, visitors will get to see the effects of sun exposure using a skin imaging device from 11 a.m  to 12:30 p.m. and from 2:30 to 4 p.m. There will also be a variety of solar science activities from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

This partial solar eclipse occurs because the center of the moon's shadow will miss the earth, passing above the North Pole. The partial eclipse will be visible at sunrise in far eastern Russia and before sunset across most of North America. In the Rogue Valley, the eclipse starts at 1:44 p.m. when the moon first begins to cross in front of the sun. The maximum eclipse occurs at 3:09 p.m. when the moon covers 56 percent of the sun's diameter. The partial eclipse ends at 4:27 pm.

Even during a partial eclipse, the sun shines brightly enough to damage eyes if viewed without a protective filter. Members of the Southern Oregon Skywatchers will be on site with a 10 inch Meade LX200 telescope outfitted with a solar filter to block dangerous ultraviolet and infrared radiation as well as visible light. Special solar filter viewing glasses will also be available at the ScienceWorks Explore Store.

The last partial solar eclipse in Oregon was on May 20, 2012. A total eclipse will be visible from most of Oregon on Aug. 21, 2017.

ScienceWorks is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays. Admission is $7 for children ages 2–12 and seniors 65 and older, and $9 for teens and adults. Members and children under 2 are free. For more information, visit www.scienceworksmuseum.org.