Newton, NC – On Monday, August 21st, the U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse following a path from Oregon to South Carolina. Catawba County will be less than 100 miles northeast of the total eclipse path and well within the range of a maximum partial eclipse.

This rare event is exciting to witness and learn about, however it also creates conditions that require safety precautions. The Catawba County Library will host four programs leading up to the August 21st eclipse to teach community members about this solar phenomenon and how to prepare to safely view it.

solarglassesThe first two programs at the Claremont and Conover Branch Libraries will host the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club talking about what an eclipse is, what we can expect to see in North and South Carolina, a brief history of solar eclipses and safety requirements for observation. Participants will be able to view the sun through solar telescopes and receive free safety viewing glasses for the upcoming eclipse.

The Claremont program will be on Thursday, August 3 at 5 pm, followed by the Conover program on Saturday, August 5 at 10 am.

On Monday, August 21st at 3 pm at the Main Library in Newton, kids and families can explore five learning centers to create a solar eclipse book, learn how the little moon can hide the giant sun, create a pinhole projection box, watch videos of total eclipses, and create a sugar cookie model of the sun.

The Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library will host a drop-in event on August 21 from 12:30-2:30 pm to view NASA’s live streaming of the eclipse as it crosses the U.S. Participants will have the opportunity to see the path of coverage across multiple platforms, record the event by creating their own solar eclipse chalk art, and receive a pair of viewer glasses while supplies last.

The next time a total solar eclipse will take place over the U.S. will be in 2024, so be sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn more about it and see it safely. Please remember that looking directly at the sun during an eclipse, even when it is only partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness. NEVER look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection. For the latest in library news, visit librarynews.catawbacountync.gov or stop by your local branch.