Skip to Content
Aug. 14, 2017, 7:45 AM
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente invites the Vanderbilt community to experience the historic total solar eclipse at an open house and viewing party on Vanderbilt’s campus August 21.
“Join me for ‘Dores in the Dark: Solar Eclipse 2017,’” Wente said in a video promoting the event. “We’ll gather on Alumni Lawn to watch the final, exciting phases of this total solar eclipse. Before the eclipse reaches totality, a large screen will display live images of the eclipse path from NASA—as well as Vanderbilt’s own high-altitude balloon located on the edge of space. Join me as we listen to Vanderbilt eclipse experts and experience this once-in-a-lifetime moment together.”
Please note: The following events are open to Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff only. Those wishing to experience the eclipse with family or friends may find a variety of great alternate viewing locations and celebrations around Nashville, including several near campus, by visiting the city’s eclipse website.
The day begins at the Wond’ry with an educational open house that will feature a variety of eclipse-related programming, including videos and activities. The open house will continue through noon, and members of the Vanderbilt community are encouraged to drop in as their schedule permits.
*Eclipse safety glasses will be provided
Vanderbilt upperclass and graduate students, faculty and staff are invited to Alumni Lawn to don special eclipse-viewing glasses in preparation for totality at 1:27 p.m. Attendees should arrive at 1 p.m. to enjoy all the key astronomical moments that occur just before total darkness. Entertainment, special eclipse videos, a live feed from NASA and frozen treats will be provided.
First-year students will enjoy their own viewing event on the Commons Lawn before taking their class picture.
The School of Engineering is partnering with NASA, NOAA and the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium to live-stream the eclipse from a camera mounted on a weather balloon that will be launched into the stratosphere. The live stream will be available on Vanderbilt’s Eclipse website and at NASA’s eclipse website. The balloon payload will include an amateur radio that the Vanderbilt Amateur Radio Club will use to communicate with fellow radio operators across the southeastern United States and an atmospheric sensor package that will measure changes in the Earth’s atmosphere caused by the rapid cooling that will occur when the sun becomes obscured. These measurements will be used in research undertaken by Susan Stewart, adjoint assistant professor of astronomy.
Want to know more? Learn what causes eclipses, how to view them safely, what to look for and more in our video series:
There are lots of ways to keep up with Vanderbilt. Choose your preferred method: