Everyone seems to have solar eclipse fever, with many people planning vacations and where they want to be when the sky goes dark on Aug. 21. Called the “Total Solar Eclipse” by NASA with a countdown on its website, astronomers predict that the moon will block the sun in aEc “path of totality” that stretches from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina.
The eclipse is set to begin in Madras, Oregon at 9:06 a.m. with totality beginning at 10:19 a.m. The moon will completely cover the sun for no longer than 2 minutes, 40 seconds which is where people positioned along “the center of totality” will be able to view it. Therefore, totality will probably end at 10:21 a.m. with the Great American Eclipse finishing its path at around 11:41 am (according to space.com).
However, if you can’t make it up to Salem by Monday, that’s okay because Sparks visitors and residents should still be able to see a partial eclipse reaching its maximum coverage at 10:20 a.m. Just be sure that if you break away from the office and go outside for a bit that you have proper eye protection to prevent permanent blindness (remember when your mom told you to never stare at the sun?)
To fully enjoy the eclipse, special viewing glasses that filter out the sun’s brightness is a must. Fortunately, in an effort to promote science programs and motivate kids, Washoe County libraries are offering a limited number of safety glasses (one pair per person) available at the Sparks Library and Spanish Springs Library locations.
Washoe County Library Director Jeff Scott says, “Libraries, in addition to programs and events, have increased their collections with items in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and math that are ready for checkout”. Schools across Washoe County are planning eclipse events for next Monday and working on obtaining glasses for its students.
The Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno is also hosting an eclipse viewing party and will be giving out complimentary special-purpose safety glasses to its first 300 attendees.