Solar Telescopes At The Trail Center

Carlin Residents Can See Annular Solar Eclipse From Comfort of Home in October

By Dianna Troyer

Photos show an annular solar eclipse progressing. The series was taken on May 10, 1994, when an annular eclipse swept across the U.S. from the desert Southwest to New England. This sequence from shortly before annularity to shortly afterward was captured from Ogunquit, Maine, through a telescope with a safe solar filter covering its front lens. The sequence runs from right to left; that is, the moon moved across the sun from right to left. By Rick FienBerg/Sky & Telescope

Carlin residents will be beneath an amazing astronomical event on October 14.

That Saturday morning, an annular solar eclipse can be seen when the moon, at its farthest point from Earth, passes between the sun and Earth.

“It will be exciting to watch with about 90% coverage,” says Kayla Kinney, 8-grade Earth science teacher at Carlin Combined Schools. “It’s great that we don’t have to travel to see it either.”

To watch the event through a solar telescope, the California Trail Interpretive Center staff will set up their equipment starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Hunter Exit. Staff will provide glasses, treats and a solar craft.

The October eclipse is called annular, meaning ring-shaped, because the smaller disc of the moon cannot cover the sun completely, so a thin outer ring of sunlight will remain visible. It differs from a total solar eclipse when the moon completely blocks the sun.

“For this eclipse, I’ll order special glasses so students can watch it at home,” Kayla says.

People can watch the solar eclipse at the California Trail Interpretive Center at Hunter Exit through solar telescopes. The staff will provide glasses, treats and a solar craft. The event begins at 8:07 a.m., reaches its maximum at 9:24, and ends at 10:50. The annularity will last 4 minutes and 18 seconds. Photo Courtesy of California Trail Interpretive Center

To understand eclipses, she has her students build a paper model depicting the positions of the sun, moon and Earth during the event.

“We’ll do another project, too, and students will make a DIY pinhole projector,” she says.

To make the projector, students will use a pin or thumbtack to punch a hole in a piece of paper, cardboard or paper plate, she explains. Then they will stand with the sun behind them and hold the paper, allowing the sun to shine through the tiny hole onto the 2nd sheet of paper or cardboard, which is held at a distance and acts like a movie screen. The inverted image of the sun should be visible on the screen.

Carlin teacher Kayla Kinney and her students show the models they make to understand how a solar eclipse occurs. Students will be provided with glasses to watch the October 14 event. Photo by Amanda McKinnon

The eclipse in northern Nevada begins at 8:07 a.m., reaches its maximum at 9:24 a.m., and ends at 10:50 a.m. The annularity will last 4 minutes and 18 seconds.

View a timeline of the eclipse at the TimeandDate page for Eclipse.