Skip to Content

EPCC hosts interactive solar eclipse viewing party


EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- El Pasoans will have the opportunity to not only watch a partial solar eclipse Saturday, but also participate with NASA in a "community science project" hosted by El Paso Community College -- both in-person and virtually.

"They can partake in actually collecting data," said physics and geology coordinator for EPCC, Dr. John Olgin. "We're going to be guiding people through that."

The data collection will be used all over the world, including by NASA, and includes taking pictures of clouds, recording the temperature, and photographing the surrounding area. And all you need, is a cell phone, and a free app called NASA GLOBE Observer.

"A lot of the data that comes out from these citizens science projects, for example, getting data from the eclipse. It's important for us to understand because we want to see the effects of the solar heating onto the surface of the earth and warming of the atmosphere -- how that changes during an eclipse," said Olgin. "It's important to really take on all of that, see how the earth reacts instantaneously to the effects of a solar eclipse. And scientists can't be everywhere. And so, they depend a lot on the citizen science approach to actually collecting data, and that's one of the best ways to actually, get people not only involved in science, have a hands-on, direct connection to doing science, but then, having a feeling of satisfaction that they actually helped with some sort of research that people are doing."

Saturday's eclipse viewing party will include collaboration by scientists in different parts of the world, including Mexico City and Guatemala.

In a release, the college said "This event will boost our new community science approach toward environmental awareness of our local region."

The event will be held at EPCC's Transmountain Campus Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The staff will provide solar glasses for safe eclipse viewing as supplies last.

Please be advised: do not look directly into the eclipse, or ever into the sun, without ISO grade solar glasses, at the risk of blindness. El Paso Public Libraries are also handing out free solar glasses as supplies last.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Kerry Mannix


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content