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When the sky goes dark over Nashville on August 21, Trevecca will mark the first total eclipse over Tennessee in more than 500 years with a once-in-a-lifetime family friendly celebration picnic.

As the largest city wholly within the path of the eclipse, Nashville will be a prime viewing location for the solar event, for scientists and citizens alike. So, mark your calendars to join us for SolarFest on Trevecca’s Great Lawn—the perfect viewing location for you and your family.

Not only will you have a clear view of the sky and comfortable place to sit, but Trevecca will supply viewing glasses and more to make sure you don’t miss a moment of the total eclipse.

At SolarFest, you’ll get the opportunity to learn about the science behind the eclipse. Astronomers, Trevecca faculty members and student researchers will be on hand to answer questions, and you’ll get to see real-time data and images from Trevecca’s solar radio telescope and solar telescopes.

In addition, Dr. Matthew Huddleston, professor of physics, and his students also plan to launch a stratospheric research balloon between 12:30 and 1 p.m., with real-time tracking and data on display during SolarFest.

In addition to learning about all the science behind the once-in-a-lifetime total eclipse, when the moon completely overshadows the sun, SolarFest is also a family friendly picnic. The event will include food trucks, live music, games and free ice cream. Please bring lawn chairs and blankets!

Eclipse viewing glasses will be available for the first 800 guests at Trevecca’s SolarFest event. The glasses will be distributed at a clearly marked table on the Great Lawn, and visitors must check in there to receive the free glasses. No glasses will be distributed prior to 11:30 a.m., when the event begins. Each party must be present to receive glasses.

When: August 21, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: The Great Lawn, situated between Greathouse Science Building and Waggoner Library
What: A picnic celebration marking the first total solar eclipse over Nashville in more than 500 years, complete with food trucks, fun and science.


Schedule of Events

11:30 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions

Dr. Matthew Huddleston, along with Trevecca faculty, students and visiting professors, will provide a historical background for the once-in-a-lifetime celestial event as well as explain why the total eclipse is scientifically important and what exactly we can expect to see when the moon, sun and earth all align. Food trucks will be ready to serve at 11:30 a.m.

Balloon Basics

As the partial eclipse begins, Trevecca faculty members will explain some of the data from solar and solar radio telescopes that will be shown on large screens throughout the event. Dr. Huddleston will also discuss the upcoming stratospheric research balloon launch, describing what will happen and explaining the data he and his students hope to collect during the eclipse. 

12:20 p.m.
Balloon Launch

Dr. Huddleston and his students will launch the stratospheric research balloon from a nearby green space that is visible from the Great Lawn. You won't want to miss the balloon taking flight as the skies continue to darken during the partial eclipse! 

1:20 p.m.
How to View the Eclipse Safely

As the sky continues to darken, Dr. Huddleston will offer a few safety tips about how to view the eclipse. With totality quickly approaching, he'll also explain what to expect when the sun's light is completely blocked. 

1:27 p.m.

At this moment, Nashville will slip into total darkness as the total eclipse begins. Everything will go quiet as we experience this once-in-a-lifetime event. Totality is expected to last approximately 2 minutes. 

2:30 p.m.
Eclipse Highlights

Trevecca faculty members and students will discuss highlights of the eclipse so far, as well as present observations from the data they have collected during the eclipse. They will also offer an update on the balloon flight and recovery. 


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