HAMPTON, Va. (Aug. 22, 2017) – Across the country and around the world, watching by television or internet, millions viewed Monday’s solar eclipse and Hampton University didn’t miss the action, either.
Faculty and staff were excused around 2:30 p.m., giving them enough time to watch the eclipse peak here in Hampton at 2:47.
Most gathered at Armstrong Stadium, with their special viewing glasses in tow, to watch an eclipse they likely will never see again in their lifetimes.
“Seeing the amazement on my colleagues’ faces when they first saw the eclipse was almost as much fun as watching the eclipse!”Dr. Calvin W. Lowe, dean of the Hampton University School of Science, said.
“For Hampton University to schedule a time for everyone on campus to watch this once in a lifetime event together, especially as we are in the midst of the official beginning of the new school year, was priceless,” Hampton University Chancellor and Provost Dr. JoAnn Haysbert said. “It showed the collective interest of the faculty in what was happening, not just for us but, worldwide. The conversation it sparked before, during, and after is what gave life and meaning to the grand event.”
Dr. M. Patrick McCormick, Co-Director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at Hampton University, was able to record data and take measurements with Hampton University’s Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) beam.
“The effects were interesting,” he said. “We began recording data about an hour before the sun saw the maximum eclipse here in Hampton. We are continuing to retrieve data and information.”
Dr. McCormick's working partner, and Co-Director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Dr. James M. Russell, was hard at work during Monday's eclipse, too, collecting data with NASA’s Sounding of the Atmosphere Using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) instrument.
"We are processing the SABER data we collected during the eclipse to do our science studies,” Russell said. “The eclipse was exciting and fun all rolled into one!"