Eclipse viewing party planned at library

Republic Staff Reports

The Jennings County Public Library is using a rare natural phenomenon as an opportunity for residents to gather and learn.

It will host a viewing party of the total solar eclipse from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at the library, 2375 State Road 3 North in North Vernon.

Popcorn will be provided during a short movie explaining what happens during a solar eclipse. In order to avoid damage to the eyes, the movie also will explain safety measures to follow during an eclipse, said Rose-Marie Howell, director of the Adult Services Department.

After the movie, free solar protection glasses will be provided and the party will move outside to view the eclipse. Howell said participants should bring a lawn chair, a bottle of water and sunscreen.

The total eclipse will be the first in 99 years to be seen from one coast to the other, and the first in 127 years to be seen exclusively in the United States, Howell said, based on her research of the upcoming event.

A narrow path of total darkness will extend from the west coast to the east coast during the eclipse. The rest of the nation will also experience portions of the eclipse with varying degrees of darkness. The path of total darkness will pass through Kentucky, Howell said.

South-central Indiana will not be thrown into total darkness, Howell added. The eclipse will be visible in Jennings county from 12:57 to 3:48 p.m. The period of maximum darkness in Jennings County will be about 2:24 p.m., Howell said.

All ages are welcome at the event, but pre-registration is recommended because only 30 spaces are provided for the party, Howell said.

The solar eclipse viewing party is just one of the upcoming public events the library is hosting.

Build fairy houses

Ruth Payne will present a five-week course on how to make fairy houses. The course begins 6 p.m. Monday at the library.

It is free but pre-registration is required.

Because space in the class is limited, Rose-Marie Howell, director of the Adult Services Department, encourages only those who can complete all five classes to register.

Talent night

The library will be the site for a talent show at 6 p.m. Sept. 15. It will consist of 12 acts that each last 3 minutes.

All singers, dancers, poets and comedians of all ages may apply for a chance to demonstrate their talents. Acts must be appropriate for all ages. The library staff will select the acts that will perform in the show from the applications received, Howell said.

Because only 12 acts will be selected, applicants are encouraged to pick up application forms soon, Howell added.

For more information on any of the events, call the library at 812-346-2091.

Safety tips

During the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse, Jennings County residents will not have time to safely view it without special viewing glasses, said Rose-Marie Howell, head of the Adult Services Department at the Jennings County Public Library.

To view the solar eclipse safely, Howell said, people must wear solar eclipse glasses certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) The glasses must have the ISO reference number 12312-2.

Her research also indicated that:

Routine sun glasses are not safe to use to view any portion of an eclipse.

People never should look through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars or any optical device even while wearing eclipse glasses unless the devices are fitted with a special filter.

Adults near children wearing ISO approved glasses should make sure the glasses are always on correctly or they will not protect the child’s eyes.

For more information about the eclipse, Howell recommends these online resources: