Community gathers at Laws Observatory for fun and safety
COLUMBIA - With mid-Missouri preparing for the upcoming eclipse on Monday, Laws Observatory played host to an event made to excite the public.
Solar Day at Laws began at noon on August 19 and went until 4 p.m. T-Shirts were made available for the public to buy, as well as other merchandise. However, the main goal of the event was to promote safety while watching the eclipse.
“Really it’s making sure people are safe and I have a goal with educating the public in general,” Angela Speck said. “What I want to get out of the eclipse is to get people to see that science is all around them and this is science that they are getting to witness and they really don’t need anything special, but at the same time making sure everybody is safe while they’re watching.”
Speck is the Director of Astronomy for the University of Missouri. She said she began seriously preparing for the eclipse almost 3 years ago.
“It has taken over my life in the last 3 months,” Speck said.
Audrey Dusenberg was one of the people attending the event. She turned 13 on August 18, so her family decided to celebrate by doing 13 different things with her. On Saturday, they attended Solar Day at Laws.
“In school we were learning about the solar system and I didn’t really realize how big the rest of the universe was until then, and that kind of made me want to learn about it more,” Dusenberg said.
She said she enjoys the mystery that comes from learning about space, which is why she is excited about the eclipse.
“I’m really excited because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m really lucky to be hear to see it,” Dusenberg said.
Speck said the observatory saw a large number of people when the event first began, but she is planning to see even more the next day.
“There is more and more people coming into town, ready for the eclipse on Monday,” Speck said.
Solar Day at Laws will also run from 12-4 p.m. on Sunday, August 20.