During orientation, members of the first-year class will have the opportunity to witness a celestial event that hasn’t occurred in their lifetimes and won't happen again until 2024: a partial solar eclipse.

The College’s C.H.F. Peters Astronomical Observatory, located a short walk from the center of campus on Peters Lane, will host an eclipse party for them and any other interested members of the Hamilton community on Monday, Aug. 21, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The observatory will project a large version of the eclipse onto the wall of the observatory and will provide 100 eclipse glasses for people to borrow and observe the eclipse directly.  Additionally, the observatory dome will be open to the 14-inch Meade telescope, so everyone will have a chance to look at the eclipse through the College’s largest telescope.  Drinks and half-sun - as opposed to Hamilton’s traditional half-moon - cookies will be provided.  

The partial eclipse will start at 1:19 p.m. Through the next hour, the moon will slowly move in front of the sun and cause it to become 70% obscured by 2:39 p.m.  For the next hour, the moon will move out from in front of the sun until 3:54 p.m. when the partial eclipse will end. 

The observatory is named for Christian Henry Frederic Peters who taught at Hamilton from 1858 to 1890, during which time he discovered and named 47 asteroids.

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