During the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, technicians and faculty in Cal Poly’s Physics Department hosted a public eclipse viewing party on campus, complete with an array of eclipse glasses and filter-equipped telescopes trained at the sun.
Despite overcast skies and a location far out of the path of totality, approximately 200 students, faculty, staff and local community members showed up to eagerly await a glimpse of the celestial phenomenon.
A low marine layer obscured direct views of the sun until well after the eclipse passed, but that did little to dampen the festive atmosphere among the gathering of sky-gazers. As a backup, physics professors quickly set up lab classrooms inside the Baker Center with large screens that followed NASA’s live feed of the eclipse at totality.
“It’s exciting to see this sense of community,” said Kevin Coulombe, a technician in the Physics Department who helped coordinate the viewing and answered people’s questions at the event. “We’re all about trying to get people educated and interested in science, and I think this was a great opportunity to get the community as a whole to come and see what we have to offer.”