Astronomers Prepare for Casper's Biggest Astronomical Event

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CASPER, WY - Local scientists and businesses are looking forward to a once in a lifetime event that will happen here in Casper Wyoming in the next several years.

On Monday August 21, 2017 people in Casper will be able to see a solar eclipse right here in town. The event happens every so often but it hasn’t happened in our area in the last 75 years.

"It’s going to be a huge deal. The eclipse passes right throughout the middle of Casper which makes Casper unique. Along the entire eclipse path that enters right near Oregon and goes past South Carolina. Casper was one of the very few places where it bisects a city," said 2017 Astrocon Chairman Lowell Lyon.

If you have never seen a solar eclipse before, scientists say it's something that you will remember forever.

"Eclipses are the most spectacular natural phenomenon that happens,” said Lyon, “Especially a solar eclipse because so much happens. The sky gets dark, the temperature drops, the winds stop. It’s a happening."

Eclipses happen quite often but rarely do they happen where many people can see it at once.

"This is the first time in 75 years one has been visible in the continental United States. Usually its somewhere, the last one I attended was in Aruba for example," said Astronomical League President Carroll Iorg.

Astronomers will be attending the 2017 event to do work on the event.

"The American astronomical society, which is a professional group in the country.They will be doing some scientific work along the centerline. So, they want to be almost in the middle of that center line," said Iorg.

Organizers hope people understand that the coming of a solar eclipse does not mean the end of life as we know it.

"It used to be that people in ancient times thought this was always a sign of doom, because at some point they had associated a major event, and not a good event in most cases, with an eclipse,” said Iorg. “They got the idea that anytime you here of an eclipse of observe one something dire is going to happen."

Organizers for the 2017 event will bring in astronomy vendors to sell telescopes and all things astronomy.

Speakers will be talking about NASA missions throughout the solar system as well as how to photograph the night sky.

The eclipse is expected to take roughly three hours and organizers expect nearly 50 thousand visitors to descend on Casper during that time.