OSU to hold three-day eclipse celebration

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Oregon State University will be directly in the path of this summer’s rare total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, and as a NASA Space Grant university, OSU is hosting a three-day eclipse celebration that includes educational events, music, movies, art and more.

From Aug. 19-21, the public is welcome to attend a series of family-friendly events culminating in a community-wide eclipse viewing party on Oregon State’s Corvallis campus. OSU also will open its residence halls for lodging reservations for the eclipse weekend.

OSU’s Corvallis campus is in the path of totality, where the sky will go dark for about two minutes starting at 10:17 a.m. The last coast-to-coast solar eclipse took place in the United States in 1918.

The OSU150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience is the first in a yearlong series of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of Oregon State’s founding in 1868. Beginning with the eclipse celebration, the events will culminate in a fall 2018 symposium.

“OSU is hosting this event as the lead institution for the Oregon NASA Space Grant and to deliver on its mission of providing education, research and public outreach to inspire the next generation of explorers,” said event organizer Jill Peters. “As Oregon’s statewide university, we also designed the event activities to share Oregon State’s enthusiasm and research and teaching expertise around the eclipse with the public and ensure they can fully experience it in a safe manner.”

For out-of-town visitors looking to secure hard-to-find accommodations during the week of the eclipse, Oregon State is offering a limited number of residence hall rooms on a first-come, first-served basis starting May 23. Those interested in reserving a lodging/dining package for Aug. 19-21 can visit oregonstate.edu/eclipse after May 23, when access to the reservation site will be available.

The package includes a minimum two nights’ lodging, dinner and breakfast in the dining halls, tickets to the concert, access to pool and gym facilities, and a commemorative tailgate blanket. As campgrounds and local hotels are already reserved for the event, visitors are encouraged to book their lodging package as soon as they are available. Two-night package prices range from $265 for a single room to $1,275 for a six-person suite. Up to two additional nights may be purchased.

The three-day eclipse celebration kicks off Aug. 19 with a photography class for those interested in capturing the eclipse, followed by exhibits and activities centered on science, space, art and astronomy. Highlights include a Mars Rover replica, an art exhibit, and a series of lectures on topics ranging from how bones are affected in space flight to how different cultures interpret astronomy. A BBQ/cocktail party, outdoor movie night and a chance to view the stars with Oregon State astronomer Randall Milstein rounds out Saturday.

Another series of activities, events and lectures will be held on Sunday, Aug. 20, including an evening outdoor concert with award-winning rock and soul band Lady Dottie & the Diamonds. Attendees will be able to dance or sing along to hits from Stevie Wonder, Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Diana Ross, and more. Beer, wine and food will be available for purchase.

On the day of the eclipse (Monday, Aug. 21) OSU will host a campus viewing party. The total solar eclipse can be experienced from the fields at Student Legacy Park just north of Gill Coliseum and attendees will receive free solar eclipse glasses.

The party will begin at 9 a.m. as the moon begins covering the sun, and will include outdoor games and activities for the family. After totality, attendees can view NASA’s live broadcast of the eclipse as its continues east across the country. NASA-TV will be live streaming video shot from weather balloons across the country, starting from the Pacific Coast with support from a student-led team on an OSU research vessel.

Additionally, the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning at Oregon State is collaborating with Google on the Eclipse Megamovie 2017, a project gathering images of the solar eclipse from more than 1,000 volunteer photographers and amateur astronomers across the nation. The images will be pieced together to create a continuous view of the eclipse as it passes over the United States.

For a full list of activities, times and locations, see: http://oregonstate.edu/eclipse

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