Solar Eclipse Viewing Event Planned at Northwestern April 8

April 3, 2024

Dr. Jenny Sattler views the August 2017 solar eclipse through a large telescope in the Greenspace. The viewing event on April 8 is in the same location and is open to all Northwestern students, employees and the general public.

students wearing eclipse glasses

Northwestern senior biology majors Katy Brashears of Beaver and Jillian Bouse of Woodward try out a pair of eclipse glasses to get ready for the April 8 solar eclipse. The Department of Natural Sciences will be handing out about 700 free pairs of glasses at the viewing event at the Greenspace on the Northwestern-Alva campus.

The last solar eclipse of the sun visible in the United States until 2044 will be April 8, and the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Department of Natural Sciences is playing host to a viewing event for students, employees and the general public.

The viewing event will take place at the Greenspace on the northwest corner of the Alva campus from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

Dr. Jenny Sattler, chair of the Department of Natural Sciences and associate professor of physics, said the peak occultation, or sun coverage, will occur between 1:30 and 1:45 p.m., but the eclipse should begin to be seen at around 12:30 p.m. and be close to completion by 3 p.m. Sattler said that northwest Oklahoma will not be experiencing 100 percent totality of the moon blocking the light from the sun, but those in this area should expect to see approximately 90 percent blockage if it’s not too cloudy.

Those attending can take turns viewing the phenomenon safely through a telescope that will be set up with proper filters for viewing at higher magnification and taking pictures through the eyepiece.

Sattler warns that the only safe way to look directly at the sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or sunglasses, even with dark lenses, are not safe for the human eye to look at the sun during the eclipse. The department plans to give away approximately 700 pairs of eclipse glasses so those attending may view the eclipse safely.

There will be a group photo of those at the Greenspace at 1 p.m. Posts to Northwestern’s social media accounts with the hashtags: #SolarEclipse2024, #NWOSUScience and #NWOSU will take place throughout the event.

Sattler and Dr. Mary Riegel, professor of mathematics, plan to be in attendance to answer questions from those attending about the eclipse or astronomy in general.

A similar event took place in the Greenspace in August 2017.

For more information on the solar eclipse event contact Sattler at (580) 327-8568 or


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