Eclipse Within Our Gates

eclipse logo

On Monday, April 8, 2024, at 3:16 p.m. Erie, Pennsylvania will experience the rare phenomena of being in the path of totality of a total solar eclipse. Mercyhurst is opening our gates to the community with lectures and activities, plus an opportunity to view the eclipse from our campus. Activities include educational talks, glasses and glow-ware giveaways, and a special viewing event at Saxon Stadium with music, food, and fun! 

Mercyhurst University has been designated by NASA as a "Sunspot Viewing Site" and will be hosting a variety of events on the day of and leading up to the eclipse. We outline those events and provide resources for learning about the eclipse here. Erie won't be in the path of totality for another solar eclipse until the year 2144, making this a once in a lifetime experience!

Eclipse Week Events
    Date Event/Presenter Description/Time/Location Livestream Link
    Friday, April 5, 2024 Eclipse Happy Hour
    Mercyhurst Dining Services

    4 p.m., Student Union: Roost

    Mix and mingle with fellow eclipse enthusiasts as you share your excitement and predictions for the upcoming phenomenon. Whether you are a seasoned stargazer or a newcomer to the wonders of the universe, all are welcome to join in the festivities.

    Admittance is FREE, and drinks are available for purchase.

    Friday, April 5, 2024 Celestial Omens: Eclipses in Eastern Astrological Traditions
    Dr. Meng Wang

    6 p.m., Walker Recital Hall (Audrey Hirt Academic Building)

    In the Eastern esoteric tradition, the solar eclipse was always categorized as a catastrophic and monumental celestial event. Confucian scholars, such as Dong Zhongshu, interpreted the celestial events within the framework of Confucianism and stated that there was a mystical interaction between heaven and human society under the rulership of a monarch.
    Saturday, April 6, 2024 Unveiling the Cosmos: The Science Behind the Eclipse
    Dr. Clint Jones, Dr. Joe Johnson, Dr. Nick Lang, Dr. Brad Treece

    4 p.m., Performing Arts Center

    Learn about the science behind the solar eclipse. We will discuss why this event is so rare here in Erie and how Einstein’s theory of general relativity was proven by a solar eclipse in 1919, as well as detail the perfect alignment of the Earth, moon, and sun.
    Sunday, April 7, 2024 Eclipse Theme Party
    Mercyhurst Dining Services

    5 p.m., Student Union: Roost

    Join us as we gear up for the celestial spectacle of the century at Mercyhurst University's Eclipse Happy Hour Pre-Party! Indulge in our special promotions as you immerse yourself in eclipse-themed cocktails and delectable treats. Get ready to elevate your spirits and anticipation for the upcoming cosmic event.

    Admittance is FREE, and drinks are available for purchase.

    Sunday, April 7, 2024 Verses of Light: A Poetic Salute to the Sun and Moon
    Dr. Alice Edwards, Dr. Brian Reed, Dr. Christy Rieger


    6 p.m., Luke's Landing, Lower Level of the Student Union


    Sunday, April 7, 2024 Red Stars and Cosmic Dreams: Early Soviet Propaganda and the Space Imaginary
    Dr. Katie Duda

    7:30 p.m., Walker Recital Hall (Audrey Hirt Academic Building)

    Space provided the setting that allowed the Bolsheviks and early Soviets to theorize the necessary conditions to deliver on the promise of a new society. Space combined two major components for early Soviet mythology: the new Soviet man and the conquest of nature. Consequently, space imagination "took off" in the first quarter of the 20th century with books, images, amateur societies, and movies, which, in no small part, would shape the Soviet space program.
    Monday, April 8, 2024 Musical Explorations of the Messier Catalogue of Star Clusters and Nebulae
    D'Angelo Department of Music

    9 a.m., Walker Recital Hall (Audrey Hirt Academic Building)

    New York composer Bruce Lazarus will talk about uniting music and astronomy as a mixture of observation, musical intuition, and compositional craft. Moderated by Mercyhurst faculty member Dr. Albert Glinsky from the D’Angelo Department of Music, this informal conversation will focus on Lazarus’ major piano cycle, "Musical Explorations of Messier Star Clusters and Nebulae," a set of musical interpretations of celestial objects first described by 17th century French astronomer Charles Messier and familiar to us today as the Andromeda Galaxy, the Pleiades, the Orion Nebula, and the iconic “Pillars of Creation.” Hubble and JWST images of Messier Objects reveal vistas of extraordinary beauty and also great variation in energy patterning – spiraling, floating, exploding, diffusing – which strongly suggest musical variations in rhythm, texture, formal design, and melodic elements. In honor of the total solar eclipse later the same day, Lazarus will also discuss his "Regarding Eclipses," composed in 2010 for the young people of North Cambridge Family Opera Chorus.

    Monday, April 8, 2024 Indigenous Science, Ancient Astronomers, & Eclipse Prediction in the Distant Past
    Dr. Will Meyer

    10 a.m., Walker Recital Hall (Audrey Hirt Academic Building)

    We sometimes presume that ancient or traditional peoples have ways of interacting with the natural world that differ from those common in Western societies. Indigenous practices and knowledge may be seen as inferior to Western scientific knowledge and practice, but a growing body of literature and public media have demonstrated the sophistication of "Indigenous science," traditions of which stretch into the distant past. In this talk, Dr. Meyer will discuss some material evidence for Indigenous astronomy, the use of which would have allowed the accurate prediction of solar and lunar eclipses.
    Monday, April 8, 2024 Eclipse of the Mind, Spirit, and Cosmos: A Convergence of Psychology, Religion, and Philosophy
    Dr. Gerry Tobin, Dr. Jim Snyder, Dr. Rich McCarty

    11 a.m., Walker Recital Hall (Audrey Hirt Academic Building)

    Monday, April 8, 2024 Eclipse Within Our Gates
    Mercyhurst University

    1 p.m., Mercyhurst University Athletic Fields

    Experience the marvel of the 2024 solar eclipse at Mercyhurst University! Join us on April 8 at 1 p.m. for "Eclipse Within Our Gates"—a unique viewing event. Do not miss this blend of celestial wonder and community spirit.


Eclipse Time-Lapse Video

Watch an Eclipse Time-Lapse video created by incoming Computing and Information Science Professor Ronald C. Anderson, which displays a time-lapse of the eclipse using computer-generated technology!

Read Professor Ronald Anderson's biography here.