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Boise State Begins Fall Semester at 1 p.m. Aug. 21 to Experience Rare Total Eclipse

By: Sherry Squires   Published 9:55 am / June 23, 2017

Solar eclipse

Boise State University’s fall 2017 classes will begin at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, so students and faculty can enjoy a rare opportunity: To see a near-complete solar eclipse from the heart of campus.

Though the “path of totality” is farther north in Idaho, the eclipse will be nearly complete in Boise. It will begin at 10:10 a.m., with the total eclipse starting about 11:25 a.m. and lasting about two minutes, according to Boise State’s physics department. The eclipse ends about 12:48 p.m.

The university will throw an Eclipse Watching Party on the quad that day, starting at 10 a.m. — faculty, staff, students and any families still in town from move-in weekend are encouraged to attend.

The eclipse is expected to bring huge crowds to Idaho and other western states in the path. Most total eclipses take place over oceans or unpopulated areas because so much of the planet is covered by water and sparsely populated land. Though this path runs across the country, Idaho’s clear, blue summer skies offer viewers a better chance that clouds or rain won’t obscure the event.

Since many people are expected to travel to see the eclipse in its entirety, Provost Martin Schimpf is encouraging faculty to be flexible with students who are unable to make it back for Monday afternoon and evening classes due to expected increases in traffic.

Boise State physics professor Brian Jackson has been hosting a series of educational events across the state and will host both a conference for visiting professional astronomers and an event for the public at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, in the Student Union Jordan Ballroom.

You can learn more about the eclipse here: