A Large group of CCB staff and students outside observing the eclipse. Some are wearing eclipse glasses while they listen to a live audio description

Quite a few, it turns out.

Staff and students held an Eclipse Party to celebrate and enjoy the 92 percent coverage of the sun today. Students in Home Management prepared a black bean salsa and cookies to start things off about 10:30 this morning as we took time to learn a little more about the eclipse.

Among our tools was the recently published Getting a Feel for Solar Eclipses, published by NASA. It featured tactile (and colorful) graphics of a solar eclipse and a tactile map of the United States depicting the path of totality.

In addition to this, many downloaded the iOS app Eclipse Soundscapes, which featured rumble maps that vibrated to show the brightest spots of such features as Bailey’s Beads, as well as audio descriptions of the peak event timed to our locale. We broadcast these using a bluetooth speaker. The app was developed by the National Park Service, Science Friday and Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Leon wears eclipse glasses and takes a look as the eclipse gets startedOf course we also obtained 25 pairs of eclipse sunglasses for sighted staff and those of us who have some residual vision and wanted to try and see the event. Sleepshades, usually a requirement for any student with no more than light perception, were not required for the event.

We were all out on the edge of our parking lot, watching and listening as the day grew dimmer and the temperature dropped from about 80 degrees to around 74 degrees.

Over in the shadow of the trees several of the group observed the progress of the eclipse as the sunny spots between the shadows of the leaves slowly grew smaller – a natural version of the pinhole approach of watching an eclipse.

Afterwards, we all went inside and were treated to a pizza lunch by the CCB Student Association.

Oh yeah, it was a real party!

Yolanda and Chip looking at the Eclipse Tactile Graphics
Close up of Eclipse Tactile Graffic
Eclipse Soundscapes App featuring Baily's Beads

 

A view of the sun during the eclipse - lense flairs show the actual eclipse shape
Tree leaf shadows make a natural pin hole eclipse viewer on the CCB flagstone in the front garden