The Great American Eclipse on August 21st, 2017 is over. The Eclipse Block Party on August 21 was a big hit! Around 1,700 people attended, hung out at the library, ate lunch and ice cream, and enjoyed being part of a community gazing at the 98% partial solar eclipse.
Thanks to the sales of 3,000 pairs of eclipse glasses, we’re able to purchase a telescope to complement our upcoming interactive exhibit Discover Space (December 20, 2017 – March 30, 2018) and for use in library programs well into the future.
Here are some pictures from the block party:
August 21 Eclipse over Laramie County:
- We’ll see a partial eclipse at 98% coverage.
- It will get fairly dark – but we’ll have 2% sunlight! Think about evenings as the sun goes down.
- Eclipse starts at 10:23am (10:25am in Pine Bluffs).
- Maximum eclipse coverage is at 11:47am (11:48am in Pine Bluffs).
- Eclipse ends at 1:13pm (1:15pm in Pine Bluffs).
- Duration of eclipse: 2 hours, 50 minutes.
- Watch a cool animation of what the partial eclipse will look like over Cheyenne here and the eastern part of Laramie County here.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
- As the moon blocks the sun, the temperature will drop! (Think of what happens when the sun goes down of an evening)
- Shadow bands (fluctuations in light) may appear, and small eclipse images may show on the ground under tree leaves (the leaves function as a sort of pinhole viewer).
- NASA has a wonderful page for learning all you want to know about what to expect!
- Animals don’t tend to act that differently during partial eclipses like what we’ll see in Laramie County, but there are reports that under the path of totality when it gets really dark they want to go to bed. For example, farm animals may head toward the barn, thinking it is night.
SAFE VIEWING TIPS:
- View the eclipse through ISO 12312-2 standard certified eclipse glasses, #14 welder’s glass, or ISO certified filters on binoculars or telescopes.
- The ISO certification will be printed on the glasses.
- Here are guidelines to ensure your glasses are safe, with information about reputable companies.
- The glasses the library sold were manufactured by American Paper Optics, and the free glasses to be handed out at the library’s Eclipse Block Party were manufactured by Rainbow Symphony, both NASA approved manufacturers.
- Under a partial eclipse (like the one to take place over Laramie County), there is no safe time to view the eclipse without eye protection.
- Be sure to leave your glasses on until you turn your head away from the sun!
- Tinted car windows, dark sunglasses, etc. ARE NOT SAFE for looking directly at the sun!
TO TAKE PHOTOS:
- If planning to take photos of the eclipse, whether with a camera or cell phone, read these NASA guidelines
- Use safe-viewing practices by not gazing at the eclipse through your camera without a filter so as to not damage your eyes.
ATTEND THE ECLIPSE BLOCK PARTY @ LARAMIE COUNTY LIBRARY:
- We’re hosting a free block party for all ages on Monday, August 21, 10am-2pm outdoors at the library in Cheyenne
- Fun activities include:
- Yardstick eclipse created by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
- Balloon tying and face painting on the south side of the library
- Sidewalk chalk art
- Food trucks: Daily Press, Nipa Hut and Ice Cream Island will be here to sell food and ice cream
- NASA live-stream of the total solar eclipse in the Cottonwood Room
- We recommend you bring the following:
- Lawn chairs and/or blankets for your comfort on our lawn and in the blocked-off areas of the parking lot
- Jackets for the cooling darkness
- Family and friends! It’s a party!
- Eclipse Glasses…
- Limited eclipse glasses will be available at the event thanks to the Space Science Institute through the generosity of the Moore Foundation. We will have 500-700 free eclipse glasses to hand out at this event. We expect many people, so ensure you’re one of the first to arrive or bring your own!
- Here’s the distribution process:
- Free glasses will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.
- Distribution begins at 10am on the east and west sides of the library
- Signs will be posted as to where lines begin.
- Persons must be present and be in line to pick up glasses.
- Glasses will be handed out to one person at a time (parents/caregivers with young children may be an exception).
- 1 pair per person over the age of 2.
- Glasses cannot be reserved in advance.
MORE COOL STUFF ABOUT ECLIPSES:
- High-altitude balloon project to live-stream and record the eclipse from the University of Montana.
- Future eclipses over North America.
- Lots of interesting information about eclipses.