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NLC hosts Big D Eclipse party

It was four minutes of darkness and a spectacular view of the sun’s corona that North Lake students will remember forever. 

Solar eclipse viewing festivals were held on all seven Dallas College campuses to view the total solar eclipse April 8. It was an event not to be seen in North Texas again for 400 years. 

The Big D Eclipse party at North Lake was organized by a team of four professors: Bethan Salle, Jason Eberle, Neda Zargar and Maria Hossu. Heather Appleby was the Dallas College event coordinator. 

“The solar eclipse was absolutely incredible,” Salle said. “Definitely going to be a long-term memory. My favorite part was the diamond of the diamond ring visible immediately before and after totality.” 

The school provided free solar eclipse viewers so participants could check out the spectacle safely. 

Faculty brought their personal telescopes and special binoculars along with their enthusiasm and interest for astronomy. Science lab assistants and about 30 students volunteered. 

Four sunspotters, devices that project an image of the sun onto paper, were distributed around the viewing area and allowed observers to safely view the progress of the eclipse. Newtonian reflector telescopes with alt-azimuth mounts and solar filters also allowed visitors to monitor the moon’s progress over the sun. 

The Big D Eclipse party attracted about 350 people, according to the scanned QR code. 

People enjoyed the event very much and a couple of them asked about astronomy courses offered on campus. 

Children participated with their families as well. 

“Their parents thanked us for the way we arranged the tables and the freedom the kids had in exploring the sun spotters and telescopes and for answering their questions,” Salle said. 

“It is fun and unifying to be with a large group of people when viewing a rare celestial event.

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