SCC offers classes to prepare for once-in-a-lifetime eclipse

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The upcoming solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, will be a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

In order to prepare for it, Southeast Community College is offering a class at six different locations in southeast Nebraska.

Beatrice, Hebron, Plattsmouth, Falls City, Nebraska City and Wahoo will offer “The Great American Eclipse” from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 14, one week prior to the event.

The cost is $10 per person or $19 per family. Online registration is at http://bit.ly/RegisterCE with the keyword: Eclipse.

The Omaha Astronomy Club will use distance technology to teach participants how the solar system works. Students also will learn what is happening during the eclipse, what they can expect to see and the best places to watch it.

“The concept of seeing a whole sky go dark just blows people’s minds away,” said John Johnson, the instructor of the class. “I’m told the difference between a partial eclipse and a total eclipse is like sitting at your high school football championship game or being at the Super Bowl.”

“It’s such a rare opportunity; in the middle of the day it becomes twilight,” said Kent Reinhard, SCC Astronomy instructor. “You get to see part of the sun you never get to see, the corona.”

Reinhard said the sky won’t become totally dark, rather more like twilight, but you may be able to see stars overhead, and the temperature will drop at least 10-15 degrees. He said it will be worth the drive to Beatrice and other locations that are in the path of totality.

“I am hoping to be standing in the path of totality somewhere,” he said.

The Aug. 14 class will also focus on safety precautions during the eclipse, and each location will hand out special safety glasses for participants.

Johnson said the most dangerous time is two to three minutes before the eclipse and two to three minutes after the eclipse.

“It is absolutely paramount that you don’t look at the sun until it’s totally covered,” Johnson added. “There will be a temptation, but you just can’t do it. You must wait until the last little bit of light is gone and it’s totally covered.”

The next total solar eclipse won’t be visible in Nebraska until May 3, 2106.

To see the eclipse’s path, look at this graphic found at The Washington Post: Take a trip down the path of the total solar eclipse

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “SCC offers classes to prepare for once-in-a-lifetime eclipse”

  1. Kathy Linsenmeyer on August 2nd, 2017 2:03 PM

    Can you instruct me as to how I can register for the “Eclipse” class at SCC-Beatrice. I cannot find the link for registration.

    thank you,

    Kathy Linsenmeyer

    [Reply]

    adviser Reply:

    Kathy,
    If you click on the link in paragraph 3 and then enter “Eclipse” in the first field and choose “Submit,” you’ll see the information at the Beatrice location towards the bottom.
    You can also contact Kelly Morgan on the Beatrice campus if you have further questions.
    I hope that helps.
    Joshua

    [Reply]

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