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Information on the eclipse in case you can’t come to library

By Amy Notarius

Rowan Public Library

Are you ready for Monday’s solar eclipse?

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an estimated 500 million people will be able to see the solar eclipse in partial or total form: 391 million in the U.S., 35 million in Canada, and 119 million in Mexico (plus Central America and parts of South America and northwestern Europe).

For those who want to witness the eclipse firsthand, all branches of Rowan Public Library are hosting viewing parties beginning at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21. Headquarters (Salisbury), East Branch (Rockwell), and South Rowan Regional (China Grove) will distribute viewing glasses while supplies last. Prior to the eclipse viewing, each branch will also host a special storytime for children at 10:30 a.m.

If you’re staying home that day, check out these tips on using a shoebox and other common materials to create a pinhole viewer, another safe way to view the eclipse, at http://static.nsta.org/extras/solarscience/chapter3/3.10PinholeProjectionInABox.pdf.

You can learn all about eclipses before the actual event by visiting NASA’s Eclipse 101 resource at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-101. This website has many suggestions for safe eclipse viewing, eclipse parties, activities and experiments you can do.

Use the total solar eclipse interactive map to view the start, maximum and end times for the eclipse in your area. Click on “how eclipses work” for video and diagrams that explain the positions of the sun, moon and earth during different types of eclipses.

In addition, NASA will offer an eclipse live streaming video at https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive. Here, NASA will provide images captured before, during and after the eclipse by spacecraft, NASA aircraft, high-altitude balloons, and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station – each offering a unique vantage point for the celestial event.

Throughout history total solar eclipses were regarded with fear and dread before science made it possible to predict their occurrence. You can view the Babylonian clay tablets that recorded instances of ancient eclipses by visiting the history of eclipses page at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-history. You’ll also find a list of many of the important scientific discoveries that took place during solar eclipses, including the verification of the theory of General Relativity.

Are you planning on taking photos with your smartphone during the eclipse? Get some tips at this NASA site: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/smartphone-photography-eclipse. Advice includes using protective eyewear, taking practice shots of the moon before the eclipse, and taking a series of time-lapse photos of the scenery as the light dims during the eclipse. And maybe the most important tip of all — don’t forget to stop taking photos long enough to view the eclipse with your own eyes!

Explore the science, history and wonder of eclipses with these great resources. Then, join us Monday at your nearest RPL location for eclipse storytimes and viewing parties. For more information, visit www.RowanPublicLibrary.org or call 704-216-8228.

Programs for children and teens on hiatus in August.

Solar eclipse storytime: Headquarters, East and South branches, Aug. 21, 10:30 a.m., a special storytime in honor of the eclipse. Then stay and see the eclipse. Special glasses will be given out while supplies last.

Solar eclipse: Join us and view the solar eclipse at 1 p.m. on Aug. 21. Partial eclipse starts at 1:13 p.m.; total eclipse starts at 2:42 p.m. Free solar glasses will be given while supplies last.

Kids Karaoke & Movie: East branch, “Sing,” Aug. 25, 10 a.m. Rated PG and has a runtime of 1 hour and 54 minutes. An adult must accompany children under 9. Free popcorn and lemonade. Call 704-216-7842 for more information.

Book Bites Club: South, Aug. 29, 6 p.m. Free and open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. This month is “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” Need more information? Call 704-216-7731.

Friends of RPL and Cheerwine Concert Series: Logie Meachum, Aug. 29, 7 p.m., headquarters. Lorenzo “Logie” Meachum, a native of Greensboro and pioneer of the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society, will perform. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Free, open to the public; all ages welcome.

Displays: Headquarters, Communities in Schools and Anime Club; gallery, Waterworks Visual Arts; East, Glenda Hunsucker photography; South, golden bobbins textile display.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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