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Solar Eclipse! Monday, April 8th.

solar eclipse simulator 2024

 

You’d have to be living in the dark to not have heard that there is a solar eclipse happening next week on Monday, 4/8.  This will be the last solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States until August of 2044! We may not be in the path of totality here in Waltham (you’d have to travel to either western New York or northern Vermont for that), but we will still be able to see the eclipse at about 93%. At 2:15 pm on Monday we will witness the moon starting to come into alignment between Earth and the sun; we will experience our darkest moment at 3:29 pm. What makes this particular eclipse so special is that according to the American Astronomical Society, the "eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) across nearly all of North America. All 50 U.S. states (excluding most of Alaska) will experience at least a partial solar eclipse, as will most of Canada, all of Mexico, and all countries in Central America. Anyone within a roughly 115-mile-wide path across Mexico, from Texas through Maine, across parts of Eastern Canada will experience a total solar eclipse, one of the most spectacular sights in all of nature."

Of course, the one thing everybody knows is that your should never look directly at an eclipse; you can suffer serious eye damage without the proper precautions It may be difficult to get viewing glasses so close to the eclipse but there are other options. You can use instructions from the Jet Propulsion Lab in California to make a pinhole camera or even use an empty cereal box to make a viewer! Hopefully the weather cooperates and we will all be able to witness something extraordinary. You can join several library staff outside in the Smith Quad between 2:30-2:45 to view the eclipse! Be safe and have fun!