Tips, resources for safe eclipse viewing

As the upcoming solar eclipse draws near, we want to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on campus. Solar eclipses are captivating natural phenomena, but it's crucial to observe them safely to protect your eyes and health. An event like this last happened in Ohio in 1806. The next total solar eclipse in Ohio will be in the year 2099. To say this is a once-in-a-lifetime event is not an exaggeration!

Seneca County is in the centerline totality area and is expected to see a sizable influx of visitors. Due to this, the Heidelberg University campus will be closed and classes will be held remotely on Monday, April 8, 2024. Essential personnel who need to report to campus will be notified by their direct supervisors. All other employees will need to work remotely if they are able. The Office of Campus Safety and Security has been working on institutional and emergency response plans for this event. 

Below are some essential safety tips and general information about what Heidelberg is doing for the eclipse:


Date and Time: The entire eclipse process takes place over several hours on the afternoon of Monday, April 8, with a short totality in the middle of the event. The start time of totality is 3:11 p.m. The duration of totality will be 3 minutes and 52 seconds. During the totality, Tiffin will be in total darkness.

Use Proper Eye Protection: Looking directly at the sun during an eclipse can cause permanent eye damage or even blindness. Refrain from taking selfies or performing other distracting activities while viewing the eclipse. Losing focus on safety measures can lead to accidents and injuries. It's imperative to wear proper eye protection such as solar eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers. Regular sunglasses are not sufficient for safe eclipse viewing. 

Remember to check your equipment. If you plan to use telescopes or binoculars to observe the eclipse, make sure they are equipped with solar filters. Never look at the sun through unfiltered optical devices, as this can cause serious eye injury. Please visit the American Astronomical Society website to find a list of safe manufacturers and importers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers, as well as their resellers and distributors.

Observation Locations: Heidelberg University will host a viewing event in Hoernemann Stadium for safe viewing of the eclipse with the help of Student Engagement, Stoner Health & Counseling Center, and Campus Safety and Security. You must provide a Heidelberg ID to gain admission to the event and receive your glasses. Glasses are first come, first served.

Traffic: Due to the influx of visitors during the weekend increasing to the day of the eclipse, campus parking lots and buildings will be closed from Sunday evening, April 7, to Monday evening, April 8. Traveling to and from campus is strongly discouraged on Monday, April 8. It is recommended that you buy groceries and gasoline before the weekend leading up to April 8, as it may be difficult to travel on that day due to increased traffic on all roadways in Seneca County.


Supervise Children: Ensure that children are supervised at all times during the eclipse. Educate them about the dangers of looking directly at the sun and provide them with appropriate eye protection if they wish to observe the event. 

Community Events: Seneca County is hosting numerous events over the weekend including the day of the eclipse. You can find more information on those here

Online Resources: For those unable to witness the eclipse in person or looking for additional information, numerous online resources offer live streams, educational content, and interactive maps to track the eclipse's path and timing in Ohio. NASA’s website can provide you with more information here.

Remember, your safety is our top priority. By following these guidelines, you can safely enjoy the solar eclipse at Heidelberg.

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