Eclipse viewing an Gettysburg National Military park, free solar glasses provided

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – People throughout Central Pennsylvania are counting down to the total solar eclipse when eyes will turn to the sky.

You can have a great view of the eclipse and learn about history at the same time Monday at the Gettysburg National Military Park.

The High Water Mark is one of the two viewing places.

14-year-old Hayden Bandes is in Gettysburg with his family.

“We’ve been camping all weekend, and it’s been great,” Bandes said. “We just did a bike of the Gettysburg Battlefield.”

Gettysburg National Military Park will provide solar glasses for those at its viewings.

The self-proclaimed history buff took the trip from Annapolis, Md., and he’s planning on watching the total solar eclipse at the park.

“I’m just really excited to see it because I heard the last time it happened was 30 or 40 years ago,” Bandes said.

Rangers will be at the Museum and Visitor Center and the High Water Mark, also known as Auto Tour Stop 15, on Hancock Avenue. The park will have a limited number of solar glasses free of charge on a first come, first-serve basis for people who view the eclipse at either of those locations.

“Here we’ve got a great opportunity to blend history and science here in Gettysburg National Military Park. Though we talk a lot about the Battle of Gettysburg and what happened here, there’s obviously nature that surrounds us,” said Angie Atkinson, supervisory park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park.

Rangers say even if you’re not watching the total solar eclipse at the park, make sure you have your glasses. The celestial event is expected to begin around 1:15 p.m. and obscure about 78 percent of the sun.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to see it clearly because it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss,” Bandes said.

78 percent of the visible sun is expected to be obscured during the eclipse.  The last total solar eclipse was back in 1979.

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