MOUNT IDA – Kids and adults alike got a chance to learn more about the upcoming solar eclipse that will make its way across the United States next month at an eclipse prep party held at the Montgomery County Library.
The prep party was presented by a handful of volunteers at the library in Mount Ida. Over 20 people were in attendance to learn the mechanics of an eclipse, as well as information on the sun and sun safety.
Kathy Rusert and a trio of helpers presented the program.
Rusert, a retired teacher, put her 42 years experience to good use by sharing a brief history of eclipses and their impact on ancient cultures.
She explained that many people groups were convinced something was eating the sun. As a result, they would run around during the solar eclipse, banging pots to scare away whatever imagined horror was gobbling up the sun.
Of course as the eclipse passed the sun returned and the myth continued until the next one.
She read a book entitled, “Someone is Eating the Sun” which explained how someone might be scared by the solar eclipse, but that it was just a natural phenomena that will pass.
Rusert shared information on the make up of the sun and how it provides heat and light for the earth.
She then explained how when the moon passes between the earth and the sun an eclipse is seen on the surface of the earth.
The upcoming solar eclipse will be the first complete eclipse to be visible across the United States since 1918.
Solar eclipse watchers in Montgomery County will not be able to view a full eclipse, but they will be able to see about 85-90 percent of the sun covered.
The eclipse will happen Monday, August 21 with the maximum coverage scheduled for approximately 11:44 a.m.
Toby Hollin shared information on sun safety. She took everyone outside and used a specially constructed frisbee and beads to reveal harmful UV rays from the sun.
While outside, Tasha Self and Avery Self presented an eclipse demonstration using models of the earth and moon and the actual sun.
They explained that due to the harmful rays of the sun one should never look directly at the sun. The library provided everyone in attendance with special solar eclipse viewing sunglasses. These special glasses allow those who wear them the opportunity to safely view the eclipse when it happens.
The Montgomery County Library in Mount Ida has a small supply of solar eclipse viewing glasses available at their location in the Mount Ida Civic Center. They are available to anyone while supplies last.
For more information on the upcoming solar eclipse go to eclipse2017.nasa.gov.
Story by Dewayne Holloway