NewsLocal News


MSU Billings to host free solar eclipse watch party

Philippines Solar Eclipse
Posted at 8:12 PM, Oct 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-10 22:12:47-04

BILLINGS - Montana State University Billings announced Tuesday that its department of biological and physical sciences will be hosting a solar eclipse watch party on Saturday, Oct. 14.

This event is free and open to the public and features several opportunities to view the partial solar eclipse through telescopes, a solar eclipse citizen project and presentations on solar astronomy and eclipses, according to a MSU Billings news release.

The eclipse will begin at 9:13 a.m. It will reach its greatest coverage of the sun at 10:30 a.m. and end at noon.

The eclipse is expected to first be seen in the Pacific Northwest in Oregon, then travel southeast through Texas, according to NASA. The full eclipse won't be seen in Montana, but astronomers do expect a view of a partial blocking of the sun in Billings.

Also in attendance will be the Montana Civil Air Patrol and the Yellowstone Valley Astronomy Association, which will also have telescopes to allow the public a safe viewing from the campus lawn between the College of Education Building and the Liberal Arts Building.

In addition to the event, the Solar Eclipse Citizen Project, a NASA citizen science project, will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m. The project will include collecting data on how the eclipse will affect VHF radio signals. Members of the Yellowstone Radio Club will help with the effort.

The Montana Space Grant Consortium is sending two ambassadors to give presentations in Library 148 at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Each presentation will run for one hour and allow time for questions at the end.