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Girl tries out eclipse glasses during community solar eclipse viewing event (August 21, 2017). Photo: Discover Ferndale

Community solar eclipse viewing event draws an estimated 1600

The promise of free eclipse viewing glasses and a former NASA astronaut and a former NASA scientist in attendance (both Ferndale residents) drew a large crowd of all ages to the field next to the Pioneer Park Community Center this morning.

City officials estimated the crowd size at 1600 with many in position to view the partial solar eclipse before it began at 9:10am.

Many found themselves sharing viewing glasses and pinhole viewers with others. City officials said they expected a couple hundred people to show up and were equipped with 50 viewing glasses to hand out.

Pinhole viewers were also handed out which many found to be entertaining to use.

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A binocular sun projector was set up that enabled passerby to view a relatively large projection of the solar eclipse. It was the result of needing alternative methods for viewing and photographing the eclipse according to Adria Vizzi Holub. “Even though I had eclipse glasses already, some friends of mine didn’t.” She researched the plans and recruited friend Cale Burr to build it. Their efforts enabled many in the crowd to watch the eclipse (see picture in the gallery below) as it happened.

The difference in the sun’s brightness at the approximately 90% partial eclipse peak was only slightly detectable to the naked eye.

temperature change during 90 percent solar eclipse 2017-08-21
Graph showing temperature fluctuations as recorded by a local weather station during the partial solar eclipse (August 21, 2017).

Temperature in the Ferndale area stopped rising and even fell a few degrees during the process of the eclipse, returning to its normal upward trend shortly after the peak of the eclipse had been reached.

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The next total eclipses viewable in North America will occur April 8th, 2024, August 23rd, 2044 and August 12th, 2045. There will also be annular (yellow) eclipses on October 14, 2023 and June 11, 2048.


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