Van Gundy creates video about eclipse with focus on Auburn, eclipse safety

Van Gundy creates video about eclipse with focus on Auburn, eclipse safety

11:30 a.m., August 15, 2017
Jason R. Hogue, Director of Communications, Peru State College,, 402-872-2429


Peru, Nebraska-  Hannah Van Gundy, a graduate student at Peru State, has created an informational video about the upcoming eclipse in southeast Nebraska.  The video focuses on the eclipse’s effects in Auburn and can be found at

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) predicted that on August 21 a solar eclipse will be visible in a long band from Oregon to South Carolina. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon orbits directly between the sun and the earth, overshadowing an area on the earth from sunlight.

While solar eclipses happen every few years, it is rarer for an eclipse to happen in the same location, creating a rare and unique opportunity for the people living in the narrow band of the total eclipse that runs through southeast Nebraska and northwest Missouri.

Van Gundy’s video begins, “The areas and towns within close proximity to Auburn should encounter almost exactly the same sight. As you can see here, the dark shaded path is the path of totality.”

Screenshot of Van Gundy's YouTube Video showing the path of totality through Auburn, Peru and surrounding communities.

Screenshot of Van Gundy’s YouTube Video showing the path of totality through Auburn, Peru and surrounding communities. Original graphic courtesy of NASA.


Creating the Video

Jason Hogue, director of Marketing and Communication at Peru State, writes, “Part of the College’s proposed engagement in southeast Nebraska schools was to provide educational resources related to the eclipse.  Dr. Darolyn Seay and Hanna Van Gundy have done incredible work to connect this national, celestial event to our communities.”

Dr. Darolyn Seay, assistant professor of education, writes, “The eclipse video project was not only a way for Hannah to demonstrate graduate level work implementing technology, but also gave [the College] an incredible opportunity to take a once in a lifetime event and create an engaging video making the connection between our campus, future educators, and community members from surrounding areas.”

Van Gundy said, “My main focus was to zone in on southeast Nebraska to show people what they could expect to see here and when it would take place in our area.”

“Another focus was to create a project that was suitable for all ages, so that it could be shared with local area teachers, college students, and many other community members.”


Eclipse Vision Safety

Van Gundy’s video continues, “The number one most important thing when it comes to viewing the eclipse is the safety of your eyes. You never want to look at the sun without appropriate protection (except during totality).”

“However there are many ways to safely view an eclipse of the sun including certified eclipse glasses – not sunglasses. They must be eclipse glasses. Another way would be to make a type of filtering device, indirectly viewing where you project an image of the sun on a screen.”

Hogue continues, “The College was also able to provide Solar Viewers through Thousand Oaks Optical to many of the schools and their students in ESU 4. These glasses are on the list trusted and approved by NASA and the America Astronomical Society.”

Dr. Darren Wright, optometrist at Lifetime Vision, in an interview with Van Gundy said, “As you probably know, looking at the sun is bad for your eyes.”

Wright explains, “Solar retinopathy is when the retina is damaged by looking at the sun.  The lens in your eye will focus the sun’s rays just like a magnifying glass.”

“If you ever burned anything by focusing the sun’s rays with a magnifying glass, you can imagine what would happen to your retina!”

Wright continues in the video, “The only time it is going to be safe to look at the eclipse is if you are in the path of totality, during totality, when none of the bright edges around the moon are showing the sun.”

“In Auburn, Nebraska, that is going to be for about two minutes. It is the only time to look at the sun safely. If you see any of the bright sun starting to come back out, you have to put your solar shades back on.”

Wright concludes, “The solar shades need to be approved solar shades. We worry about people just having old sun glasses or the disposable glasses they got from being dilated during an eye exam. Those are not going to be protective. They have to be specifically for looking at the sun during the eclipse.”

Hogue adds, “More information about viewing safety and a link to the American Astronomical Society’s list of ‘Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters and Viewers’ can also be found at”


More Information about the Video and the Eclipse

Van Gundy’s video goes on to explain the celestial mechanics of the eclipse and other interesting factors of the upcoming event.  The video is fifteen minutes and could well prepare children and adults for the eclipse.

Seay said, “Hannah did a fantastic job developing this project. She collaborated not only with me and Dr. Wright, but she also asked for feedback from area teachers and community members.”

Van Gundy writes, “When given the opportunity, by Dr. Seay, to create a project about the total solar eclipse, I was eager to get started. Although challenging at times, I was motivated to construct an informative video about this celestial phenomena that will happen right here in my community.”

“It was also a great opportunity to collaborate with other community members and bring something beneficial to the area.”

Van Gundy is seeking her Masters of Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction.  She is a resident of Auburn.