Eclipse Watch Parties on April 8

August 2017 Total Eclipse.
Eclipse Watch Party
April 8, 2024
12:45–2:30 p.m.

Akerman Hall
Balas Atrium
University of Minnesota
110 Union Street SE

The Akerman Hall watch party will include observing through telescopes and solar glasses, weather permitting. The event will also feature live video-streams from NEBP balloons and from NASA sites, even if it is cloudy.

* Link to Live Eclipse *
Video Streams 

Bethel Watch Party
12:45–3:15 p.m.

Bethel University – a Minnesota Space Grant Consortium affiliate school – will also host an eclipse watch party from 12:45–3:15 p.m. Viewing will take place outside on the lawn next to Benson Great Hall. Safely observe the eclipse using one of Bethel’s telescopes with a solar filter or a pair of eclipse glasses. More details available here.

Augsburg Watch Party
1–3 p.m.

Augsburg University – also a MnSGC affiliate – is hosting an eclipse watch party outside of Hagfors Center on the patio from 1–3 p.m. There will be several different Sun-safe viewing options available (weather permitting), including solar telescopes, eclipse glasses, a sunspotter, and more.

If it’s cloudy you can still join Augsburg to watch the NASA livestream of the eclipse.

Thank you to Physics Faculty Katrina Marslender and Steve Brehmer for organizing this event.

Astronomy Club Watch Party
Lecture 1 p.m.
Viewing 2 p.m.

The University of Minnesota Astronomy Club also plans a watch party, with a lecture in Tate Hall at 1 p.m., followed by observing on the roof of Tate Hall starting at 2 p.m.

The Watch Party will include telescope observing and observing through solar glasses, weather permitting.

UMN Ballooning Team
Heading to Indiana for Eclipse

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities Stratospheric Ballooning Team is traveling to Indiana to fly balloon-borne experiments during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

The UMN Ballooning Team will be in the path of totality, where the moon completely blocks out the face of the sun for several minutes. Flight camera footage from the total eclipse promises to be dramatic.

The UMN Ballooning Team is part of the “video-streaming” side (also known as  the “engineering” side) of the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project (NEBP). More than 700 students from 75 educational institutions across the United States are participating in the NEBP, with about half on the video-streaming side. Live video-streams from balloons in flight on April 8 can be monitored here.

NASA Support

The Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project is supported by NASA Science Mission Directorate Science Activation Program, by NASA Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, and by NASA Balloon Program Office.

A National Public Radio article about NEBP and preparations for the total eclipse was published on March 25, including many photos.

The University of Minnesota Ballooning Team developed and is flying many of the same payloads mentioned in the NPR article.

Experiments, besides video-streaming and other cameras, include studies of gravity waves, planetary boundary layer changes, and weather patterns; making general atmospheric environmental measurements such as temperature, pressure, relative humidity, light intensity, and cosmic radiation; and testing space technology proofs-of-concept.

Annular Eclipse in 2023

The UMN Ballooning Team traveled to New Mexico to launch several payloads during the October 14, 2023, annular solar eclipse. During an annular eclipse, the moon is orbiting further away from the earth than during a total eclipse so the sun is not completely blocked, resulting in a dramatic “ring of fire.”

NEBP Website

National Public Radio Story on NEBP

“Chasing the Moon’s Shadow” – Oct. 14, 2023

“UMN Twin Cities to be Pod Lead
for NASA Eclipse Project”

UMN Aerospace Engineering
and Mechanics Website