Total eclipse at the park

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, April 4, 2024

The second solar eclipse in just over six months will be visible Monday and the Vicksburg National Military Park is offering its prime real estate as a location for a local viewing party. National Park Service Ranger Brandon Smith said the most recent information is projecting a 92-percent solar eclipse to be visible Monday, as compared to the October 2023 eclipse that fell
around 83 percent.

The park, located at 3201 Clay Street, will hold its event for those wishing to view the eclipse from noon to 3 p.m., with many people at past events choosing to gather near the park’s visitor’s center. Smith said rangers will be on hand to help those in attendance with information and to pass out special glasses for viewing the eclipse; however, Smith added that Monday’s
event will not feature glasses passed out prior to the viewing session’s official start.

Regardless of where locals and visitors choose to view Monday’s eclipse, officials with University of Mississippi Medical Center
(UMMC) in Jackson are advising that people proceed with caution and follow all safety guidelines.

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“If you choose to view the eclipse, please follow recommended precautions and take the information seriously,” said UMMC professor Dr. Kimberly Crowder. “Even brief amounts of exposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause permanent damage to the eyes, even blindness. Unfortunately, we saw patients with damage after the last eclipse a few years ago and, while we are always
happy to have new patients, we hope to not have new patients due to the eclipse.”

Monday’s event at the National Military Park is free to the public.