SFA invites community to see solar eclipse

Nacogdoches, Texas (KETK) - It seems everyone was having an eclipse viewing party, including Stephen F. Austin State University.

Some members of the physics department and the observatory were there to enhance the experience.

While eclipse viewing parties were going on all over East Texas SFA sent out a special invite for the whole community and many gathered hoping to see something unique.

"It's a cool thing to happen in Nacogdoches and we're glad everyone let us know what day it was happening," said Dr. Laurie Rogers, an observer in the crowd.

"It's almost a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Jessica Rogers, an observer.

Staff from SFA's observatory were there answering questions and giving people the best view and their involvement made it all the more fun for those attending.

"We're having a good time," said Keith Hubbard, who was observing with his family. "It's fun to try to teach science practically through real things happening."

And with such enthusiasm from the crowd, it reminded some of the staff why they got into astronomy in the first place.

"That's why I'm in physics, I started out in astronomy and I knew all the constellations by the time I was 11 years old and I can't get away from it," said Dr. Thomas Callaway, SFA physics department.

Most of us, when we were young, were given some pretty good advice to never look into the sun 

And today it is more true than ever, unless you have a pair special glasses.

"They absorb the infrared," said Dr. Callaway. "You can find materials that'll let a little bit of visible through but absorb all that's what you want to do. It's not the visible that bothers you it's the infrared radiation and the ultraviolet too."

Many say they had a great time and luckily East Texans won't have to wait 40 years for another one, the next solar eclipse is expected to be April 8, 2024 just seven short years.

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