Solar eclipse viewing party being held Monday in Midland

Solar eclipse viewing party being held Monday in Midland

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Soon, many people around the country will look up to the sky to see a phenomenon that is visible from Earth once in a generation.

"38 years ago was the last total solar eclipse visible to the United States. The last one that went coast to coast was in 1902," said Zach Coker, Director of the Marian West and William Blanton Blakemore Planetarium.

But astronomers say if you want to catch this event at it's best, you'll want to be timely.

"1 p.m. Just after 1 p.m., the moon will be as far in front of the sun as it will appear," said Coker.

At that time, you'll only be able to see about 25% of the sun. Now, during the eclipse, it may be hard to see just how much darker it really becomes.

"One of the things I like to do is pick an object and make note of what it looks like before it starts and make note of it during totality to see the difference," said Coker.

The Museum of the Southwest and the Sibley Nature Center are hosting a viewing party at the Blakemore Planetarium starting at noon and running until 2 p.m. There will be food trucks on site as well as some outdoor fun.

"We'll have telescopes outside that people can view the sun with. We will also be handing out solar glasses. We'll have live views from around the country as well," said Coker.

No matter where you plan to watch the eclipse, Zach says to never look at the sun without protective gear. He recommends purchasing solar glasses but if that is not an option, there are a couple alternatives.

"You can use welders glass or welders goggles. That's gonna be the other safest thing to use," said Coker.

Coker reminds eclipse viewers to stay hydrated, wear sunblock and dress cool in order to truly enjoy this rare experience.

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