Event attendees gathered on the North Lawn at Springfield Museums to watch the April 8 solar eclipse during the Great American Solar Eclipse Party.
Reminder Publsihing photo by Laura Mason

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Museums hosted its Great American Solar Eclipse Party on April 8 in celebration of the solar eclipse visible across Massachusetts.

At the event, attendees could view the eclipse on the North Lawn through glasses with solar filters. Telescopes with solar filters were also set up at the event for viewing. The telescopes provided a larger image than solar eclipse glasses, Naturalists’ Club President Dave Gallup explained.

While the maximum eclipse only reached 93.8% in Springfield, the moon’s position closer to the Earth allowed for a greater view of the eclipse, Springfield Museums Seymour Planetarium instructor Joel Cummings told Reminder Publishing.

At the eclipse party, the Springfield Museums also had a sonification box, which emitted a specific pitch through speakers based on the amount of light coming from the sun, Cummings explained. This was offered to allow people with vision loss to experience the eclipse’s darkening effect. As the moon blocked a greater portion of the sun, the pitch from the sonification box became lower, he stated.

For people with vision, this darkening effect was visible through the reduction of light coming from the sun. Other impacts from the eclipse included a slight drop in temperature and wind, Cummings said.
Earlier in the day, the Great American Solar Eclipse Party additionally hosted planetarium shows to explain the cause of an eclipse and a visit from Malik the Magician, Cummings stated.

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