On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible from parts of the United States mainland for the first time in 38 years.
The University of Toledo’s Ritter Planetarium will host a free viewing event for the public from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on the campus lawn between Ritter and McMaster Hall.
“We will be able to see an approximately 80 percent eclipse from Toledo, weather permitting,” said Alex Mak, UT associate planetarium director. “This is a rare opportunity, and we want to celebrate with the community.”
UT astronomers will have several safely filtered telescopes set up outside looking at the eclipse. A limited supply of solar eclipse glasses will be for sale for $2 each.
“We also will have a couple dozen ‘Personal Solar Observatory Boxes’ people can use at no cost,” Mak said.
In the event of clouds, a web stream of the eclipse from other locations across the country will be playing in McMaster Hall Room 1005.
Ritter Planetarium’s next two Friday night programs will focus on the eclipse. Programs are at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 and 18. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for members of the UT community. Children younger than 12 and senior citizens are free. For more information, go to ritter.utoledo.edu.
Mak also is giving free, public talks about the upcoming solar eclipse at branches of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library as part of a grant UT received from the American Astronomical Association. The workshops are primarily intended for children. Guests receive a pair of solar eclipse glasses, informational handouts and planetarium guest passes. The library events are:
• 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16 at Toledo Heights, 423 Shasta Drive; and
• 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18 at Birmingham, 203 Paine Ave.
“We want to get kids excited to watch the eclipse, make sure they do so in a safe manner and foster an interest in astronomy that can be maintained well after the eclipse,” Mak said.