Davidson College to distribute eclipse glasses on Monday

A solar eclipse Handout courtesy of NASA.
A solar eclipse Handout courtesy of NASA. The Washington Post

Davidson College is giving a once-in-a-century gift to everyone on campus for the start of classes on Monday: Eclipse glasses.

Thanks to Professor Kristen Thompson, participants will get the glasses to view Monday’s first total eclipse to travel coast-to-coast in the U.S. since 1918. The college will distribute the glasses only to Davidson staff, faculty and students via campus mail, and will not hand them out at the event.

Everyone is invited to gather on the college’s Chambers lawn from 2:30 to 3 p.m. to watch the eclipse, which is expected to reach 97 percent of totality at the campus, Davidson College President Carol Quillen said.

Davidson College President Carol Quillen Davie Hinshaw dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte will see a partial eclipse for nearly three hours, starting at 1:12 p.m. and peaking at 2:41 p.m. Most places in North Carolina will see a partial eclipse of 90 percent totality or more.

Thompson, an astrophysicist, also is leading a series of events in Winnsboro, S.C. In 1900, then-Davidson College professor and future college president Henry Louis Smith joined astronomers from several other universities to observe the May 28 total eclipse in the S.C. town. Winnsboro is one of only two observing stations in the path of Monday’s total eclipse.

Davidson College also has distributed a 5-minute online video produced by its faculty and staff to explain how eclipses have guided war, shaped history and altered civilization over the centuries, Quillen said.

The college also will show the eclipse live on Facebook and YouTube .

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak