UNT Dallas – Learning from April 8 eclipse; activities to watch rare event

Monday, April 8, 2024

The University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) has special activities planned on Monday, April 8, 2024, when a rare total solar eclipse will cut across Texas with expected totality on the UNT Dallas campus.

From experienced skywatchers to novice enthusiasts and curious bystanders, this will be an event to experience and remember. For educators and students, it will be an opportunity to teach and learn.

The last total eclipse visible in Texas happened 146 years ago in 1Total solar eclipseA watch party will be held Monday in the courtyard between Dal 1 and Founders Hall and at the Hart Amphitheater. Free glasses and views through telescopes will be provided along with other fun festivities. Members of the community have also been invited. The campus event will run from noon to 3 p.m.

Experts say the moon will start blocking the sun about noon; totality will begin at 1:30 p.m. near Del Rio, TX. and trace a line northeast across the state as the map shows. Totality here is expected at about 1:40 p.m.

Totality will last from a few seconds to about 4.5 minutes depending on where you are along the path. Only those in the path of totality will get the full eclipse experience. 

We are fortunate that Dr. Faranak Zarnani, a physics lecturer in the Department of Natural Sciences and chair of the UNT Dallas Eclipse Event Planning Committee, received a grant from the American Astronomical Society to host our gathering.

science studentsOnly 35 organizations or institutions received the funding out of 152 applicants nationwide. The grant paid for viewing equipment and educational activities, including solar glasses, telescopes, and scientific sensors.

Students in Dr. Zarnani’s PHYS-1210 Conceptual Physics course were assigned eclipse-related projects, which they showed off in Founders Hall. You could see the hard work, diligent research and creative construction that went into the projects.

The students benefited from the collaboration and will assist Dr. Zarnani collect data about the eclipse.

Eclipse Map of TexasHere's what to look for: You will see a partial solar eclipse before and after the time of greatest coverage. If you’re outside of the eclipse’s path of totality, you will see a partial eclipse. It’s safe to look directly at the sun only during the few minutes of totality. Be sure to protect your eyes by using special eclipse glasses or an indirect observation method, like a pinhole viewer.

Regardless of where you watch it, the April 8, 2024 eclipse promises to be a remarkable and once-in-a-lifetime experience.


From UNT Dallas News