William & Mary

Come to the sundial to see the eclipse (and be sure to use proper eye protection)

  • Proper eye protection!
    Proper eye protection!  Swem Library’s Lisa Nickel models a pair of eclipse glasses that will be on hand at an informal gathering to view the Aug. 21 solar eclipse at the sundial courtyard outside Swem library. Swem has laid in a supply of the glasses for use at the event.  Photo by Joseph McClain
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William & Mary’s Swem Library and 2017 Solar Eclipse Working Group will be hosting an informal eclipse-viewing event on Monday, Aug. 21.

The community is invited to stop by the sundial courtyard outside Swem Library during eclipse time, 1:19 to 4:05 p.m., with peak coverage of 88 percent occurring at 2:45 p.m. Visitor parking will be available on level 3 of the Parking Deck at 201 Ukrop Way.

Lisa Nickel, associate dean of research and public services, said Swem is joining libraries across the eclipse path in hosting viewing sessions. Special eye protection is absolutely essential for viewing the eclipse without incurring eye damage and Nickel added that Swem Library is providing a limited number of eclipse glasses at the event.

 “It’s a great opportunity to bring the William & Mary community together to experience something amazing,” she said.  

In addition to watching the moon pass over the sun, there will be a few eclipse-related activities. Michael Gaynes, a lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History and a member of the Solar Eclipse Working Group, will bring his two telescopes equipped with solar filters. Gaynes said he might set up some pinhole viewers as well.

Most of the members of the Solar Eclipse Working Group, consisting mainly of faculty in the Department of Physics, plan to leave Williamsburg to view the eclipse somewhere in the path of totality. But some of the newest members of the William & Mary community will be welcomed to campus by the darkening of the sun.

 “We do a new faculty orientation here in the library,” Nickel said, “and there is one scheduled for the day of the eclipse. It ends at 2, so we’re going to invite the new faculty to come outside and watch the eclipse with the rest of the campus community.”