Lipscomb has begun preparations for the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse, which will take place on Monday, August 21 — the first day of classes for the fall semester.
Nashville is the largest city in the path of totality. The rare celestial occurrence will begin around 1:25 p.m. in Nashville. Lipscomb’s 1 p.m. classes will still meet so professors can take roll for the first official class day, but students will be dismissed early to view the eclipse.
“The start of every school year is always an exciting moment,” Provost Craig Bledsoe said in a statement. “This year, however, there is a truly significant event attached to the start of school on August 21.”
Bledsoe added that while professors should dismiss their students by 1:15 p.m. to commemorate the event, it is still imperative for students to show up for the beginning of class to confirm enrollment with both professors and the university.
In addition to the student body and faculty gathering together to view the total eclipse on campus, Lipscomb also has some special activities and presentations planned earlier in the day to commemorate the event.
The LIGHT program and the College of Professional Studies have ordered 3,000 solar eclipse glasses for the campus body. The first set of glasses will be handed out to freshman during Quest Week, but staff, faculty and upperclassmen students will have the opportunity to pick up glasses the morning of August 21.
Solar eclipse glasses are necessary to view the sun since it is not safe to ever look at the sun with the naked eye, as this could permanently damage the retina due to solar radiation. Glasses can be taken off during totality, but viewers need to know the correct time to take glasses off and also when to put them back on. Even a few seconds of looking directly at the sun can cause eye damage.
For more information concerning eye safety during a solar eclipse, readers can visit NASA’s solar eclipse web page.
In addition to these preparations, Lipscomb’s College of Education hosted a workshop in July to provide solar eclipse curriculum ideas for local teachers. Metro Nashville public schools will also be in session on August 21.
Readers can view this interactive Google map to find out details about the eclipse’s path for specific locations.
Lumination Network will be providing solar eclipse coverage leading up to the day of the eclipse and also on August 21. Make sure to check back here for more coverage concerning this once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event.