Total Eclipse of the Heart Ashland Citizens Given Chance of a Lifetime

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Ashland Citizens Given Chance of a Lifetime

 By: Charles Romans

The Ashland Beacon

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              Dig out your solar glasses for the eclipse viewing event at Broadway Square in Ashland Monday, April 8. The event will run from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and will feature viewing of the upcoming eclipse, live discussions, and other entertainment. The event is free to the public, and if you don’t have a pair of solar glasses don’t worry because not only will glasses be provided at no charge, but there will be special filtered telescopes set up for the public to view the event in a more up close and personal manner.


              Ashland City Commissioner (and self-proclaimed Space Nerd), Josh Blanton will be sponsoring the event in conjunction with the Highlands Museum and the Boyd County Public Library. Blanton said he saw the eclipse while in Alabama in 2017 and felt that the experience was “awesome.” Blanton said that he wanted to have the event for the people who are in Ashland and won’t be able to travel to a prime viewing spot in the path of totality where the maximum viewing experience is possible. “We’re going to have 3,000 pairs of solar glasses, so we’re going to be ready for anything,” Blanton shared. “We’ll have at least three telescopes with solar filters set up for people to look through. It will be a good place for people to gather and have a good time.”

              The prime viewing areas, according to NASA’s Eclipse Explorer, will be as follows: “Total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The total solar eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean. Weather permitting, the first location in continental North America that will experience totality is Mexico’s Pacific coast at around 11:07 a.m. PDT.” The path of best viewing is expected to be in a diagonal progression from Southwestern Mexico to Northeastern Maine.

              Blanton said that the Astronomy Club plans to bring Ashland as close as possible with the solar eclipse event on Broadway Square and as the event progresses, they will talk about the science behind solar eclipses, mixing a little bit of education with the fun. The last eclipse event was held by the Boyd County Public Library, and Blanton said he’d been informed that the turnout was around 700 people, and even with the event taking place on a Monday during the normal workday Blanton expects to exceed that number. “The Peak will happen right around 3 p.m. when kids are getting out of school,” Blanton stated. Even though the timing is somewhat challenging, he hoped for a good turnout.

              Like all events sponsored by the Astronomy Club, this event is totally free to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. Blanton remarked that he and several other like-minded individuals with a passion for astronomy started the Astronomy Club, and they hold several events like the solar eclipse viewing throughout the year. “We have a Facebook page, but there’s no membership or anything like that. You can go to the page and learn a few things and see some of the pictures that we take around town.”


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