Space center, lake cruise, grand hotel to celebrate eclipse in N.H.

Associated Press
Saturday, August 12, 2017

New Hampshire won’t be seeing a total solar eclipse next week, yet various venues will be celebrating the event, including a space center, a Lake Winnipesaukee cruise and a grand hotel.

New Hampshire will be close enough to see 62 percent of the sun eclipsed by the Earth’s moon on Aug. 21.

“We own it for the U.S.,” said Andrew DiGiovanni, who teaches science at Lebanon High School. “We’re the only country that is going to experience this one.” He said the last recorded total solar eclipse seen from the United States was 99 years ago. The next one is scheduled for 2024. “Hopefully, when we start the school year, science gets that big boost of, ‘I can’t wait for my science class!’

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord is offering events starting at 10:30 a.m. that day, with tours, talks and a live stream from NASA at noon. Visitors will be able to make their own solar and eclipse-themed crafts, and use telescopes with solar filters.

A special cruise of the M/S Mount Washington in Lake Winnipesaukee is leaving Weirs Beach at 12:30 p.m. that day. A telescope also will be set up at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods.

On Saturday, before the event, educator and NASA Solar System Ambassador Sally Jenson will give a talk at the Margaret and H.A. Rey Center at the Curious George Cottage in Waterville Valley. A small scope with a solar filter to watch the event will be set up from 1:15 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. on Aug. 21.

On Aug. 21, the eclipse is to start at about 1:25 p.m. and will darken skies from Oregon to South Carolina. The moon will gradually block more and more of New Hampshire’s view of the sun over the following hour and 18 minutes, until maximum partial eclipse is reached at 2:43 p.m. From 2:43 p.m. to 3:55 p.m., the sun will gradually return to full brightness.

From 1:25 p.m. to 3:55 p.m., people will be gathering outside the Discovery Center, joined by staff and educators from the New Hampshire Science Teachers Association. DiGiovanni, representing the association, will give a talk, “A Space-Bird’s Eye View of the Sun-Earth-Moon System.”

He said even though New Hampshire will experience a partial eclipse, “we’re always going to need that eye protection as we view it.”

Special eclipse glasses are flying off the shelf at the Discovery Center.

“Oh man, we’re trying to keep up,” said Jeanne Gerulskis, executive director.