OHIO VALLEY — The United States will witness the moon pass in front of the sun for an eclipse this coming Monday.
According to eclipse2017.nasa.gov, given the orbits of the Earth around the sun and the moon around the Earth, Oregon will be the first to see the eclipse as it then slides across the United States and leaves the face of the continental US on South Carolina’s coast. The next annular eclipse is expected to take place on October 14, 2023 and will track from northern California to Florida. The last total solar eclipse viewed from the continental US was in February 1979.
Bossard Memorial Library will be holding an eclipse event from 1 to 3 p.m. where it will stream the eclipse live through the internet from NASA. Materials will be provided for families to craft pinhole viewers which allow individuals to safely view an eclipse shadow on the ground.
An interactive map is available on NASA’s website to allow families the opportunity to see when and where an eclipse can be seen. According to Library Adult Programming Coordinator Lynn Pauley and her event preparation, the library will aid families with pinhole viewers. Given the tilt of the Earth, the eclipse should offer roughly 90 percent coverage of the sun for viewers in town.
According to the NASA site, the organization cautions individuals from peering at the sun until the eclipse is in totality. Otherwise, pinhole viewers or certified eye wear could be used to view the eclipse. Eye damage could result from improper viewing technique.
The eclipse’s longest duration will be near Carbondale, Ill., where the sun will be completely covered for two minutes and 40 seconds, according to NASA. Eclipses happen because of a coincidence where the sun and moon are the same angular size. The sun is considered roughly 400 times wider than the moon but also 400 times farther away. Scientists say this is why they appear to be similar in size in the sky.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.