Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing at JJC Oct. 23

The public is invited to view the upcoming partial solar eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23 from 4:15 to 6 p.m. just west of Joliet Junior College’s planetarium parking lot, located near JJC’s F-Building on the Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet. The eclipse will be viewable at 4:36 p.m. until sunset. This is a free event.

JJC's new Omnistar Digital Planetarium Projector.

According to Noella Dcruz, JJC professor of physics and astronomy, there will be three telescopes available at the event, each with protection for the eyes. The telescopes include a 2.5-inch telescope with a built-in hydrogen light filter that enables viewers to see sunspots and prominences on the sun; an 8-inch telescope with a solar filter that also allows viewers to see sunspots; and a “Sunspotter” telescope with a 2-inch lens that projects the sun’s image onto a piece of paper so that several people can see sunspots and the sun’s image at the same time.

In case the weather is unfavorable, the viewing will be canceled.

To find out how to safely view the partial solar eclipse from home, those interested can attend a JJC Trackman Planetarium show on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. At this show, Planetarium Director Art Maurer will teach and demonstrate how to use a piece of paper and binoculars to safely view the eclipse. Attendees will also get to see JJC’s new digital projector in action. The projector was installed at the college in January 2014.

Dcruz said there are 30 to 40 partial, total, and annual solar eclipses each century that are viewable from the Chicago area. The next total solar eclipse in Illinois will take place in the southern part of the state on Aug. 21, 2017.

For more information about the planetarium or the solar eclipse viewing, visit or call Dcruz at 815-280-2572.

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