April 21, 2024

Library Programs to Provide Solar Eclipse Info

Eclipse
(Pixabay.com photo)

A partial solar eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8, 2024. For those viewing in St. Mary’s, the eclipse will begin at approximately 2pm and end just after 4:30pm, with maximum coverage at approximately 3:20pm. During the eclipse, there will be 86% to 88% coverage, during which it will get darker outside, but there will not be total darkness.

Students and families are encouraged to read more about solar eclipses and safety and enjoy experiencing this exciting phenomenon.

Families and students can safely view the eclipse via live stream here: NASA live stream of the solar eclipse.

In addition, listed below are solar eclipse events sponsored by St. Mary’s County libraries:

Solar Eclipse Party at Charlotte Hall Library: 3/29 at 2pm https://stmalib.libnet.info/event/9822769

Solar Eclipse Party at Leonardtown Library: 3/29 at 2pm- this program is already full, but folks can join the waitlist for a spot in case of cancellations. https://stmalib.libnet.info/event/9704060

Solar Eclipse Party at Lexington Park Library: 3/30 at 2pm https://stmalib.libnet.info/event/10155082

Those who attend will receive eclipse-viewing glasses (and make their own pinhole viewer). If the branches have surplus glasses after their programs, they will be available to library visitors on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Then, on the day of the eclipse, the Mobile Library will be at the Dorsey Park pavilion with the same solar science activities and more glasses to give away.

All St. Mary’s County Public Schools dismiss at some point during the eclipse period. Families and students should be aware of the following safety tips:

  • Never look directly at the sun, especially during a solar eclipse. It is dangerous and can cause permanent damage to the eyes. Do not look at the sun through sunglasses, telescopes, or binoculars.
  • Anyone using special viewing glasses or filters should only use those that conform to all International Organization for Standardization standards.
  • If you purchase special viewing glasses, ensure they are from reputable manufacturers. There have been reports of counterfeit products labeled as if they conform to international safety standards. The American Astronomical Society, whose products are known to conform to ISO standards, provides a list of reputable companies that conform to safety standards.

Learn more about solar eclipses here.

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