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Free presentation to discuss solar eclipse at WKCTC

Staff report

West Kentucky Community and Technical College is offering a presentation to discuss August's total solar eclipse. The public is invited to the free, one-hour presentation Monday at 11 a.m. in Waller Hall 112.

Dr. Victor Taveras, WKCTC assistant professor of physics and astronomy, will discuss the science behind the rare total solar eclipse that will occur Monday, Aug. 21 -- the first total solar eclipse visible from the Southeast in over 45 years.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon's apparent diameter is larger than the sun's, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Paducah will witness a duration of 2 minutes, 21 seconds of darkness, just shy of the longest duration of 2 minutes, 41.6 seconds on Earth. Taveras earned a bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Rhode Island before completing a doctorate degree in physics from Pennsylvania State University specializing in loop quantum gravity and loop quantum cosmology. He continued this research at Louisiana State University before joining the faculty at WKCTC in fall 2011.

Monday's presentation helps set the stage for WKCTC's Night at Noon event on the day of the eclipse. The college's event will include free viewing glasses, vendors, food, music and a chance to meet Terry Wilcutt, Kentucky's only astronaut. Night at Noon visitors will also have a chance to win an Xbox One and game. For more information, visit nightatnoon.org.

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