Children in Libraries published the article "The Astronomical Event of the Decade: Library opportunities with the coming total eclipse of the sun" in the Spring 2017 issue by Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz.
On August 21, 2017 we will witness the first total eclipse visible in the continental United States in forty years. It is being called the "All American Total Eclipse." 1918 was the last time the path of a total eclipse where the sun is completely covered was crossed the continental United States.
Warning! Observers must be careful when viewing a partial eclipse as the sun will still shine into their eyes if they look directly at it. Libraries can help with that! "Most people will need clear reliable guidance for when and how to safely observe it [the eclpise]."
How can your library create programming around this event?
- Work with local schools and organizations to find expert speakers for programs. Any local astronomy groups or enthusiasts?
- Build simple proper viewing binoculars with patrons.
- Host an observing party!
- STARNet, a national network sponsored by NASA and the National Science Foundation, provides science-technology activities and resources for public libraries. They will be a central eclipse-information clearing-house for libraries in 2017; it is free to join the network.
- “What is an Eclipse?” NASA. For students in grades 5–8.
- “Solar Eclipses for Beginners.” Mr. Eclipse. By NASA’s Dr. Fred Espenak.
- “NASA EDGE: Solar Eclipse 2017 Preview Show.” YouTube video.
Submitted by Marla Sepnafski.