Bradstreet Observatory Opens for Total Solar Eclipse

St. Davids, PA: Eastern University will open its Bradstreet Observatory to the public on Monday, August 21, 2017 to view the total solar eclipse. The Bradstreet observatory, located on the St. Davids, campus will be open to faculty, staff, students and the public from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Observatory Administrator, Steven Sanders ’01, will be on hand to assist visitors in viewing the total solar eclipse of the sun. On the Eastern campus, at the peak time of the eclipse, it is anticipated that there will be a 75% blockage of the sun. Visitors can expect telescopes set up for safe viewing of the eclipse and a limited number of eclipse glasses will be distributed for safe viewing as well.

Dr. David Bradstreet ’76, Professor and Chair of the Astronomy and Physics Department explained in a recent interview with WORD FM in Pittsburgh that a “total solar eclipse occurs when the moon is exactly in between the earth and the sun. If the moon is a new moon, and if it lines up perfectly, it will almost exactly block the face of the sun and the shadow of the moon will trail across the earth. As the moon passes in front of the earth, that shadow moves with the moving moon and that shadow then traces out a narrow 70 mile width path, in this case diagonally from the state of Washington to South Carolina. That path, when you can’t see the sun at all, is called the Path of Totality.”

Dr. Bradstreet stresses the critical importance of not looking at the sun during the eclipse without the proper protection, such as eclipse glasses. He encourages those with eclipse glasses to share with others since availability has become limited.

When asked if rare events like the total solar eclipse can inspire creativity, Dr. Bradstreet responded, “The more we think, the more creative we can become…Astronomy, and science in general, and lots of different avenues of human life can bring great creative thought and great discoveries.”

Dr. Bradstreet is the co-author with Steve Rabey of Star Struck: Seeing the Creator in the Wonder of our Cosmos.

It should be noted, a rainy or cloudy day will negatively affect viewing conditions.

Eastern University is a Philadelphia Christian university of the arts and sciences located in the western suburbs of Philadelphia at 1300 Eagle Road in St. Davids, PA. Eastern enrolls approximately 3,500 students in its undergraduate, graduate, professional, urban, Seminary and international programs. Its core values of faith, reason and justice are woven into all of its educational programs. For more information visit or contact Denise McMillan, Communications Director, 610-341-4365,