Celestial Celebration: Explora to host viewing party for annular solar eclipse

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For some people, witnessing a solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and Albuquerque is embracing the hype.

“Realizing how much this is for so many people, how there are eclipse chasers and all that, I thought why not make a weeklong program for fun,” Explora Public Programs Coordinator Natalie Casaus said.

Starting Monday, Explora will have a week of activities designed to teach people of all ages about the celestial event and how to view it safely.

“Sun safety is absolutely important so we have materials to make your own sun-viewing masks with fun motifs,” Casaus said. “We also have indirect solar viewing activities like making a pinhole viewer where the sun comes in from the back, and you will see a projection on a white piece of paper.”

“Explora is the nexus of both fun and vibrant learning so that is what we do,” Explora Communications and Marketing manager Amythyst Marciano said.

While a lot of folks will head out to Balloon Fiesta Park on Saturday, Oct. 14 to watch the eclipse. Explora officials say they are offering a more educational viewing experience without the crowds or traffic.

“The real highlight is going to be on Saturday after the eclipse, peak viewing is after 10:30, then viewers are welcome to come to our maker space and screen print their own t-shirt from Explora,” Casaus said.

The last annular eclipse visible in America was more than a decade ago. The Explora team wants to make sure they put on a show everyone can remember for years to come.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity again we don’t know the next time an eclipse will come back so this will be great for families who have been here for their whole lives or just visiting for the first time to make some fantastic memories,” Marciano said.

The full list of Explora events can be found on their website.