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Total Eclipse of the Park: Solar eclipse viewing party at McFarland Park

The+2017+Solar+Eclipse+made+a+brief+appearance+on+the+Iowa+State+University+campus%2C+seen+here+through+the+clouds.%C2%A0
Max Goldberg
The 2017 Solar Eclipse made a brief appearance on the Iowa State University campus, seen here through the clouds. 

Discover Ames will host an event to view the Solar Eclipse on April 8 from 12:45-3 p.m. You can attend this event at McFarland Park located at 56461 180th St. 

A solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and creates a shadow on the earth, making the sky turn dark in the middle of the day. This shadow is called the path of totality which will be the only place you can experience total darkness during the eclipse. 

Though a solar eclipse occurs every 18 months, it is very rare that there is as much coverage as there is this year. There will be 85% coverage over our area, making it a partial eclipse. This will occur at around 2 p.m. in Ames. 

At the viewing party, viewing glasses will be provided for all attendees and hands-on activities will be available for anyone to participate in. It is very important to wear the safety glasses provided, as sunglasses do not properly protect your eyes. The sun can do heavy damage to your eyes when it is viewed directly and without protection. In addition, it is not safe to view the sun through a camera or telescope while wearing the provided goggles. This can cause serious eye injury both short and long-term. To safely protect the rest of your body, it is important to wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible. This also means that for any skin exposed to the sun, it is important to apply sunscreen.

Everything is completely free and open to anyone in the Ames community. 

To learn more about the upcoming eclipse and get information about how to prepare for it, you can also check out this article.

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