On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible in the continental United States for the first time in almost 40 years. A total eclipse is when the sun is completely hidden by the moon, the sky becomes dark, and the sun’s faint atmosphere (it’s corona) becomes visible – like a beautiful halo. This total eclipse will ONLY be visible on a narrow track stretching from Oregon to South Carolina across the U.S. Because no other country will get to see this total eclipse, it’s been nick named “The All-American Eclipse”.

The rest of the United States and other parts of North and Central America (including Beaumont, TX) will see a partial eclipse, where the moon covers only a portion of the sun. A partial eclipse may not be as awe-inspiring and memorable as a total eclipse, but it is still a beautiful experience that will not quickly be forgotten. It will be important to use safe viewing strategies during the partial eclipse, since it is dangerous to look at the sun without something to protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.

The partial eclipse will be visible all over North America. Many millions of people will be able to see a big bite taken out of the sun as the moon moves in front of it. To enjoy the total or partial eclipse of the sun people must plan ahead for how to protect their eyes. Remember, if viewing the partial eclipse, some part of the sun is still showing and can cause eye damage.
The entire partial eclipse – from beginning to end lasts from a little over two and half hours to almost three hours. For half that period, the moon is covering up the sun, and for the other half, it is moving off the sun. The closer a location is to the path of totality, the more of the sun will be covered up.

The Beaumont Public Library System, BISD, the Beaumont Children’s Museum, the Energy Museum, the Astronomy Club, and the Earlys (local storytellers) are offering a Solar Eclipse Activities for the whole community on Monday, August 21 from 11am to 1:30pm. Indoor and outdoor activities will be taking place at the Beaumont Event Centre and the Great Lawn (700 Crocket Street).

Activities taking place:

• Live stream of the Total Eclipse
• Free Eclipse Viewing Glasses (approximately 1,000 will be available)
• Storytelling by Mary & Neil Early
• Food Trucks available
• Activity provided by the Children’s Museum
• Activity provided by the Energy Museum
• Chuck Ferguson will be providing a hydrogen alpha solar telescope
• Sunspotters provided by BISD
• Bring your lawn chairs and sun umbrellas to enjoy the eclipse outside on the Great Lawn

For additional information, please contact Elmo Willard Library, located at 3590 East Lucas Drive by calling (409) 892-4988 or visit beaumontlibrary.org.  Library hours are Monday – Thursday 9:00 am to 8:00 pm and Friday & Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.