Photo of Jason Ezell and student explaining one of the university's telescopes.

Solar Eclipse Viewing at Barker-Lane Stadium

The sun is set to disappear in Buies Creek around 2:45 p.m. on Aug. 21, according to Jason Ezell‘s calculations and a map provided by NASA. That hasn’t happened in almost a century.

Ezell, a professor of Physics and advisor for the Campbell University Astronomical Society, is joining forces with the College of Arts & Sciences and Coach Mike Minter (of the Fighting Camels Football team) to stream this once in a lifetime event at Barker-Lane Stadium.

Streaming is the key word. The Society’s major telescope will feed into the stadium’s big screen to show the moon passing in front of the sun from around 1:16 p.m. to 4:06 p.m.

The Solar Eclipse Viewing event is free and open to the public.

By doing this, Ezell hopes to prevent any injuries from curious onlookers glancing at the sun during the eclipse.

“The sun powers everything. Every rain drop that falls to the Earth, every wave that crashes on the beach, every blade of grass blowing in the wind, every small animal scurrying along – everything is powered by the sun.”

He says the power from the sun is stronger than what human eyes can handle even on ordinary days. But a rare event like a solar eclipse, most people won’t want to miss it.

In addition to streaming the eclipse, Ezell and his team will distribute NASA-recommended eclipse viewing glasses at the event.

Ezell anticipates the whole event to be rather eerie and odd. He says the sudden darkness during the middle of the day will be strange compared to the ordinary process of the sun setting with its gradual shift in light and longer shadows until nighttime.

When asked what he will do if the weather is cloudy that day, he stalls.

“That’s not an option.”

The last total solar eclipse to pass completely over the United States occurred June 8, 1918. It crossed the United States from Washington state to Florida, much like the predicted path of the 2017 event.