A free, public solar eclipse viewing will be held from 1-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23 at the Downing Planetarium at Fresno State.

The partial solar eclipse is expected to begin at 1:58 p.m., reaching its peak by about 3:22 p.m.

Members of the Central Valley Astronomers will set up solar telescopes for the public to safely view the eclipse. Solar eclipse glasses will be available to purchase for $2 each at the planetarium (5320 N. Maple Ave., northeast corner of Maple and San Ramon avenues, south of Barstow).

“It is not recommended to watch the event without proper eye protection,” said Dr. Steven White, Fresno State physics professor and director of the Downing Planetarium. White said during the solar eclipse, the moon will pass over and obscure the sun.

“The moon will appear to be moving across the sun like a dark disk, giving the sun the appearance of a thick crescent at the maximum point of the eclipse,” White said.

Also during the event, two free programs will be available for viewing inside the 74-seat star theater.

At 1 p.m., “Moonbound: 2020,” a program that looks back on NASA’s manned spaceflight program and the new plan to put humans back on the moon by 2020, will be presented.

At 1:30 p.m., the show “Two Small Pieces of Glass” will explore the wonders that can be captured by the lenses of telescopes. The show also delves into the invention, history, use and diversity of the telescope.

Parking permits are required to park on campus. Day passes can be purchased for $3 at permit machines located on Barstow, Woodrow and San Ramon avenues.

For more information, visit www.downing-planetarium.org.

(Copy by Jodi Raley, University Communications news assistant.)

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