Associate professor Chuck Higgins’ discussion for the Friday, April 14, MTSU Physics and Astronomy Star Party focuses on this summer’s solar eclipse, whose path will go directly across Nashville.

“The 2017 Great American Eclipse at MTSU” star party will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Room 102 of Wiser-Patten Science Hall. A telescope viewing will follow the 45- to 60-minute lecture. The star parties are free and open to the public. To find Wiser-Patten Science Hall and nearby parking, visit

The April Star Party is part of the Alumni Spring Showcase, which includes dozens of events and activities for MTSU students, alumni and friends of the university.

The eclipse will occur Monday, Aug. 21. For Nashville, the eclipse should begin around 1:28 p.m. and last nearly two minutes. Because of the path of the eclipse, it is considered a 100-year event.

“The moon will pass directly between the Earth and the sun, and the shadow of the moon will follow a path across the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina,” Higgins said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

For Aug. 21, MTSU will host a public viewing session at the MTSU observatory.

“We will have telescopes set up for safe viewing and special glasses for viewing the sun will be available to borrow or for sale,” Higgins said, adding MTSU physics and astronomy students and faculty will be available to answer questions and interact with everyone attending.

School groups will be invited to attend that day. Higgins said they plan to livestream the event and provide links to education activities at

“Funky Fizix in Film” will be professor Eric Klumpe’s topic for the Friday, May 5, MTSU Star Party.