Bowie State to Host Solar Eclipse Watch Party

Eclipse Will be Visible Across U.S., Mexico and Canada

(BOWIE, Md.) – Bowie State University is hosting an eclipse watch party on Monday, April 8, 2024, to bring members of the campus body and the broader community together to observe the near total solar eclipse in Bulldog Stadium from 2 – 4 p.m. 

Bowie State partners at NASA have donated 3000 pairs of eclipse glasses that will be provided to anyone who attends the watch party. The event is open to the public and free to attend.  

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, blocking all or part of the sun’s light. This happens when the sun, moon, and earth align in a straight line or close to it. Total, partial, and annular eclipses describe how completely the moon covers the Sun. An eclipse of similar magnitude is not projected to occur until 2079.  

Eclipse forecasts predict that the peak totality, the time during which the moon passes between the earth and sun, will occur around 3:20 p.m.  

Prior to the watch party, NASA engineers, Dr. Kenneth F. Harris II and Mrs. Chidilim Okonkwo, will talk about the solar eclipse phenomenon and the need for our current generation to prioritize exploration, scientific inquiry, and innovation during a presentation in the Student Center at 1pm. Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend. 

“This is an exciting celestial event, and we’re fortunate enough to exist in a time and place to witness it with our own eyes,” said Dr. Dawit Hailu, a physics professor in the natural sciences department. “Events like this have the ability to spark interest and wonder about science and the world around us.”  

For those planning to view the eclipse, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind. According to NASA, it is not safe to look directly at the sun during the event, except for the few minutes when the moon passes in front of it, or the totality event. Eclipse viewers must use eclipse glasses when watching the partial phases of the eclipse before and after the totality event. It is also not recommended to try and watch the eclipse using a camera or telescope unless you have a specialized eclipse filter attached to the lens, as the sun can cause severe eye injury. Check out NASA’s solar eclipse safety webpage for further information.