The Great American Eclipse is upon us. On Monday, August 21st we will witness the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the entire country since 1918. In anticipation of this historic event, the Metropolitan Library System collaborated with Science Museum Oklahoma to provide a series of programs to explain what causes eclipses, how to view them safely, and teach people how to build a camera obscura that they can use to view the eclipse. Thanks to a grant from STAR_Net Libraries the library locations offering the Science Museum Oklahoma’s Eclipse Party programs will be giving away a limited number of eclipse viewing glasses. The programs are limited to 40 people and glasses will be provided to those who attend the programs.
It is important to use proper protection for your eyes when viewing the eclipse. Otherwise you could risk significant damage to your eyes or even blindness. If you are unable to attend one of the Eclipse Parties, you can still purchase eclipse viewing glasses from a number of sources. Locally, Science Museum Oklahoma has been selling them in their gift shop; however each shipment they have received sells out quickly so call before heading over there. A number of local and online retailers are selling eclipse glasses. American Astronomical Society has created a list of reputable vendors. Be sure that any glasses you use to view the eclipse meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.
You can also create eclipse projectors using items that you have at home. Using cardstock or chip board (think cereal box), aluminum foil, tape, and a paperclip you can make a pinhole projector.
Upcoming Eclipse Programs