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LightSound Devices to Make Total Solar Eclipse Accessible to Blind on Beebe, Heber Springs Campuses During Solar Eclipse  

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As anticipation builds for the upcoming total solar eclipse, Arkansas State University-Beebe is proud to announce the deployment of LightSound Project devices on its Beebe and Heber Springs campuses during the celestial event on April 8, making the event accessible to individuals who are blind or have low vision.

The LightSound device, developed by Harvard’s Department of Astronomy and provided free of charge to 750+ locations hosting eclipse events in the path of totality, is a revolutionary technology that allows individuals to experience the wonder of the cosmos in a whole new dimension. Combining light and sound, the LightSound device creates an immersive auditory experience that enhances the understanding and appreciation of astronomical phenomena for individuals who are blind or have low vision.

“We are thrilled to bring this innovative technology to our campuses in Beebe and Heber Springs,” said Andrea Cole, ASU-Beebe’s development officer/major gifts and chair of the total solar eclipse taskforce for the college. “The total solar eclipse is a rare and awe-inspiring event, and with the LightSound devices, we can offer our students and the community an unforgettable experience that combines science, technology and wonder, making the event more accessible for all.”

According to the LightSound Project website, the device uses a technique called sonification, which is the process of converting light intensity to sound. As the moon eclipses the sun during a total solar eclipse, the sunlight begins to dim, and the LightSound device will output a change in musical tone, allowing observers to perceive astronomical events in real-time. The device can be attached to headphones or to a speaker to project the sound for a group.

The LightSound devices will be available for public observation on the Beebe and Heber Springs campuses during the solar eclipse on April 8, and ASU-Beebe will have volunteers on hand to explain the device to participants. Visitors are encouraged to join ASU-Beebe for this unique experience and witness the beauty and mystery of the cosmos as never before.

For more information about the LightSound device and ASU-Beebe’s solar eclipse events, please visit https://www.asub.edu//2024-eclipse/.

For more information about programs offered at ASU-Beebe, call (501) 882-3600 or view the website at www.asub.edu.

Founded in 1927, Arkansas State University-Beebe is an operationally separate, two-year institution of the Arkansas State University System. With campuses located at Beebe, Heber Springs, Searcy, Little Rock Air Force Base and online, the college offers associate degrees, certificates and noncredit training for business and industry. 

Heather Pedersen

Heather Pedersen (43)

“Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.” -C.S. Lewis

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