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Laramie to See Partial Solar Eclipse

(David Paleino, Flickr)

Laramie will get a rare treat this weekend when a partial solar eclipse takes place on Sunday evening. The Laramie Astronomical Society and Space Observers (LASSO) is hosting an observation party with solar telescopes and special glasses so you can safely watch the eclipse on May 20.

According to LASSO, the eclipse will start at 6:20 p.m., hit maximum at 7:25 p.m. and end at 8:16 p.m. when the sun sets. It will only be an annular, or partial, eclipse, but LASSO reports that it will be a substantial eclipse with up to 76 percent of the sun being covered by the moon. The last annular eclipse visible in the United States took place in 1994, but LASSO’s Robert Roten says that to the best of his recollection, Laramie has not been able to view an eclipse since the 1970s.

While this is certainly an event you’ll want to watch, Roten warns that it is not safe to view the eclipse without proper eye protection. LASSO has ordered solar eclipse glasses to loan out during the observation event.

Telescopes will be set up just north of the soccer fields along Television Road. LASSO says they will have a Coronado Personal Solar Telescope which is designed specifically for looking at the sun and allows viewers to safely observe sunspots, solar flares and magnetic disturbances on the surface of the sun.

Of course, LASSO does warn that if the weather does not cooperate, such as cloudy skies which prohibit the viewing of the sun, the event will be cancelled. Right now the forecast for Sunday shows sunny skies with a high of 65 degrees. Seems perfect to view such an incredible event!

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