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Total Eclipse Activities at CCC-Grand Island

July 27, 2017

Eclipse Glasses & Shirt

CCC: The perfect place to be on Aug. 21!

 Are you getting excited for the total eclipse on Aug. 21? We are! That's because Grand Island is in the perfect location to witness one of the most spectacular sights in astronomy: a total eclipse of the sun!

Here is what we have planned at Central Community College-Grand Island before and during the big day.

Wednesday, Aug. 16

“Judy Berlin” will be shown as part of the “Beyond the Screen” series.

The 1999 comedy-drama is set in Long Island where a solar eclipse is causing the residents to search for meaning in themselves and others. They include a talented but bitter teacher who has long loved her married principal. They are hampered in their flirtations by the principal’s high-strung wife and deadbeat son and the teacher’s clueless daughter. Although the kids manage to get together, the teacher and principal are only left with fleeting moments.

The movie will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a discussion moderated by CCC English instructor Jim Kosmicki to follow. The class is free but reservations are required. Call (308) 398-7445 or email


Sunday, Aug. 20

Jim Greenhouse

Jim Greenhouse, space science director at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, will present "Your Last Eclipse Talk of the Century" at 3 p.m. in the College Park auditorium. Attendees will learn about the sun’s power and the cosmic coincidences that come together to cause an eclipse. They'll learn how to view and take photos of the eclipse safely and find out about NASA computer programs and apps that will help them enjoy this celestial spectacle. The cost for the program is $5 per person, which includes one pair of eclipse glasses.

Greenhouse manages New Mexico's largest planetarium, publicly accessible observatory and astronomy exhibit gallery. He plans a schedule of events during the year which incorporate telescopic observing. He is also an active member of the Albuquerque Astronomical Society and presents outreach programs at schools with a portable planetarium. He recently received the society’s John Dobson award for presenting astronomy education programs. He regularly supports observing events at New Mexico’s Dark Sky Park Monument. During his 35-year astronomy education career, he has also worked at museums in Texas, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina.

Greenhouse will be a guide to special groups and schools that the Grand Island Campus will be hosting on the day of the eclipse.


Monday, Aug. 21

  • Parking lot opened (TBD)
  • 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. – Rundown of events.
  • 11:34 a.m. - 12:58 p.m. – Partial Eclipse Phase
  • 12:58- 1:01 p.m.  – Total Eclipse

Other IMPORTANT details

  • Bring plenty of water, snacks and, if you have one, an umbrella.
  • Wear sunscreen and a hat.
  • CCC will have eclipse glasses available. You MUST use CERTIFIED, APPROVED eye protection to view the eclipse at ALL TIMES that any piece of the sun’s bright disk is visible.
  • CCC also will have telescopes and binoculars available, but you're encouraged to bring your own binoculars if you have them. You may use these to view the eclipse in totality, NOT when it moves to the partial phase.
  • Bring a lawn chair to sit on or a blanket to lie on. This will make viewing the eclipse easier since it will be directly overhead. Identify your chair or blanket with either a ribbon or piece of tape that cannot be removed.


Solar Eclipse Image

The CCC Library has created an information guide to help you learn more about eye safety and local viewing sites and special events. View maps, recent news articles, and helpful websites and videos. Visit the library (located at College Park) to check out our books and pick up an eclipse bookmark! Click here for the  information guide:

Click here for an interactive Google total eclipse interactive map.



Eclipse Planning Expert Shared Expertise at CCC This Summer

Central Nebraska residents will have a front row seat on Aug. 21 when the moon blocks out the sun for about two minutes and 35 seconds.

The total eclipse will move from northwest to southeast, with central Nebraska falling into shadow right before 1 p.m. It will complete its journey across the state in only 19 minutes.

Dr Kate Russo

In preparation for this event, Central Community College-Grand Island brought in Dr. Kate Russo, an Ireland-based psychologist, community eclipse planning expert and eclipse chaser who has seen 10 total eclipses in locations around the world. She has published three books on eclipses, including the newly released “Being in the Shadow.” The nonfiction book features six ordinary people who describe what it is like to experience a total eclipse for the first time. It is available for purchase on Amazon.

While in Nebraska, she gave programs at CCC on the science and experience of total eclipses and spoke to community groups in Grand Island, Lincoln and Ravenna about preparing for the event. Big crowds are expected, and this means ensuring adequate parking; providing shade, water and bathrooms for visitors; and dealing with a multitude of other details and issues.

On the day of the eclipse, people should choose a site that offers a 360-degree view and bring water, sunscreen and bug spray. Because the sun will be overhead, they also may want to bring a blanket to lay on or a lawn chair to sit in.

The important thing is to have fun, whether it’s following NASA’s suggestion to take a selfie with the sun, snapping photos of friends who are sharing the moment with you or making a diary of the day.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for central Nebraskans. The last total eclipse was 1,000 years ago and the next one won’t happen until the year 2744. So enjoy it!

GI Eclipse Class

Dr. Kate Russo’s enthusiasm for eclipses must be contagious, if the people attending this class at Central Community College-Grand Island are any indication. They’re obviously ready to get their safety glasses, stake out a great place to view the eclipse, and fully enjoy the big event.