Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 21, 2018

Library to host solar eclipse program Thursday

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Aug 14, 2017

Iowans will have a chance to witness history in the making Aug. 21 when the first total solar eclipse will occur since 1979; and Fairfield residents can learn about the event being called “The Great Eclipse of 2017,” from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday during a free event at the Fairfield Public Library.

“Brent Studer, adjunct professor of astronomy at Kirkwood Community College will offer a free presentation about ‘The Great Eclipse of 2017,’” said library director Rebecca Johnson.

Johnson said attendees would be able to learn about the circumstances under which eclipses occur, and how they can prepare to see the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States since the late 1970s.

According to NASA’s Total Eclipse website, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality would be able to view a total solar eclipse. The path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere — the corona — can be seen, will stretch from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk.

A total solar eclipse is where the moon fully covers the sun for a few minutes. However, one would have to be in the path of totality.

According to NASA, the path of totality is a thin ribbon around 70 miles wide, which will cross through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and North and South Carolina. The total eclipse will end near Charleston, South Carolina.

The first point of contact will be at 9:45 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time in Lincoln Beach, Oregon, where totality begins at 10:16 a.m. During that next hour, it will cross through the other states along the path, and conclude at 2:48 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in Charleston, South Carolina.

The longest duration is predicted to be near Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be completely covered for two minutes and 40 seconds.

However, during the celestial event, looking directly at the sun is not advisable.

“Those who look directly into the eclipse are cautioned to protect their eyes to avoid burning the retina,” Johnson said, adding that the first 50 attendees at Thursday’s presentation would have the option to purchase ISO-and CE certified solar eclipse glasses for $3.

For more information about the presentation, contact the library at 472-6551.

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