Rose-Hulman prepares for solar eclipse

(WTWO Photo)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO) – Richard Ditteon spends a lot of time looking up.

As director of the Oakley Observatory at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, he knows a solar eclipse is a rare treat.

“It’s going to be well-placed where a lot of people can observe,” Richard Ditteon said.

On the big day, Rose-Hulman will host a free watch party, where the public can safely watch the eclipse from several high-tech telescopes.

“Eclipses are fairly rare in highly populated areas. That’s what makes this one particularly nice because a lot of people are going to be able to see it without having to travel long distances,” Ditteon said.

The last time an eclipse passed over the Wabash Valley, was in 1994, and that was only a partial eclipse.

So how far will you have to drive to see it?  All you have to do is walk outside.

“The further south you go the more of the eclipse your going to see,” Ditteon said. “We are going to be about ninety-five percent total here.”

According to Ditteon, the most rewarding part of sharing his love of space is seeing the reactions kids have to it.

“When they come out and look through the telescope and get excited, it’s really satisfying and fulfilling,” Ditteon explained.

From start to finish, the eclipse will last a couple of hours. It will begin in the early afternoon. If you can not attend the event, Rose-Hulman is also planning on live streaming the event over the internet.

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