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Thousands flock to UNF for eclipse watch party; students launch NASA eclipse research

Friends watching the eclipse at UNFThe weather was perfect with clear blue skies as thousands of people flocked to the University of North Florida Coxwell Amphitheater to watch Monday’s solar eclipse. At the same time, a group of UNF students were in Little Rock, Arkansas, to launch a scientific research balloon as part of a NASA project.  

On-campus watch party  

Action News Jax distributed about 5,000 ISO-approved safe solar eclipse viewing glasses to the crowd of excited sky gazers on campus. The Department of Physics and Astronomy Club hosted the event, which also included table stations to view the sun with solar telescopes, create chalk sun art and other activities.   

Crowd of people at eclipse watch partyNASA research in Arkansas 

As one of a few schools selected to work with NASA, UNF students launched a scientific balloon from Little Rock to collect valuable data for NASA’s Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project (NEBP) during Monday’s eclipse. This was the second launch for the students who previously launched during the eclipse last October in San Antonio, Texas. A live stream video was sent from the balloon system to the NASA eclipse website to observe atmospheric phenomena and conduct individually designed experiments. Watch the NASA launch 

A family watching the eclipse at UNF