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courtesy of Catawba Science Center

Catawba Science Center Celebrates Solar Eclipse with Special Hours & Activities

Quick! The sun and the moon are having a meeting at CSC from 1:00 PM– 4:30 PM on April 8th! It’s going to be a spectacular Eclipse Event with FREE fun-filled activities to enjoy and you don’t want to miss out! Activities on the lawn are FREE and guests can explore the planetarium/aquarium building for a reduced admission price of $5 per person, members are FREE!
A Solar Eclipse happens when, at just the right moment, the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth. The Eclipse on Monday, April 8 will be the last Total Solar Eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2044.

First Contact
At 1:53 PM The Eclipse will have made its first contact! The first contact of an Eclipse is when the Moon starts to overlap the edge of the sun. At this stage, the eclipse begins to block the sun, creating a crescent shape.

Second Contact/Totality
At 3:11 PM, in Hickory, the Eclipse will have reached its maximum point also known as totality! Totality takes place when the Moon covers the entire surface of the Sun, which may only last a minute or two! It is also known as the second contact in the phases of the Eclipse. At this phase, you can notice the sky darkening, a slight drop in temperature, and an eerie silence that may settle around you. Towards the end of this phase, Shadow Bands (rapidly moving long dark bands separated by white spaces that can be seen on the side of buildings or the ground) and Baily’s Beads (irregularly shaped light rays that are formed by sunlight when an uneven edge of the Moon overlaps the sun) can be seen.

Third Contact
The third and fourth contact are very much like the first and second contact, but in reverse. Now that the moon is moving away from the sun, a diamond ring may be observed again. Baily’s beads may also reappear, which is then followed by a thin crescent shape of the Sun as it gradually reappears. This phase of the Eclipse will end at 4:26 PM.

Fourth Contact
The fourth contact is the final stage of the Eclipse. The moon has completely moved across the face of the Sun.

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