Eclipse Watch Party on Oct. 14


WAYNESBORO—Area residents are invited to a solar eclipse viewing party—an opportunity to safely view the upcoming annular eclipse—on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. at Red Run Park in Waynesboro. Organized by The Institute, the event is free and open to the public. 

Waynesboro resident Todd Toth, a space scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will be on hand to guide the experience, along with Institute environmental staff. Toth is a former Waynesboro Area Senior High science teacher.

In an annular eclipse the Moon is at its furthest distance from Earth. The eclipse happens when the Moon covers the Sun’s center, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a “ring of fire” or annulus around the Moon.

On Oct. 14 the annular solar eclipse will cross North, Central, and South America, and will be visible in parts of the United States, Mexico, and many countries in South and Central America.

Those who attend the event can help NASA scientists gather data about the eclipse using the GLOBE Solar Eclipse Observer app on their smartphone or tablet. (The free app is available at:

Toth suggests that eclipse observers download the app ahead of the event. “We will be using the app, which is designed for observers to submit data for further scientific research.”   

Toth will also bring equipment to measure temperature, clouds, cloud cover, contrails, barometric pressure and relative humidity. 

“This will be a hands-on, fun event for the entire family,” he said, “with activities for all ages.” Safety viewing glasses provided, while supplies last. Bring lawn chairs or blankets if desired. 

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