Wednesday, May 17, 2017

[444] May 5 MTSU Star Party ties in solar eclipses with ‘Funky Fizix in Film’

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — MTSU Physics and Astronomy professor Eric Klumpe finishes the spring semester Department of Physics and Astronomy First Friday Star Party with “Funky Fizix in Film” starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, in Wiser-Patten Science Hall Room 102.

Weather permitting, a telescope viewing will follow the 45- to 60-minute lecture. The star parties are free and open to the public. To find Wiser-Patten Science Hall and nearby parking, visit

First Friday Star Parties are a way for the department to bring the campus, Murfreesboro and surrounding communities together, with faculty sharing about planets, the sun and moon and other celestial objects and phenomena.

“Funky Fizix in Film” has been a theme Klumpe has been following for the past four to five years, where he explores how “physics” and astronomy is used in the plot of some films.

“What changes is which films I review,” he said. “The spring 2017 installment will be about movies with solar eclipses, how the eclipses tie into the plot of the film and whether or not the portrayal of the eclipse is scientifically accurate or not.

Klumpe said the tie-in with solar eclipses will point toward the Aug. 21 “Great Tennessee Eclipse at MTSU.”

“It will be a solar eclipse party that MTSU will be participating in,” Klumpe said. “We want as many people as possible to be aware of this event so they do not have any regrets about not making plans to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Nashville and parts of Middle Tennessee will be in the direct path of the eclipse, which is expected to begin around 1:28 p.m. and last nearly two minutes. It is the first total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. in 38 years.

For more information about star parties or the department, call 615-898-2130 or visit and Physics and astronomy is one of 11 departments in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

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