Parties planned, school days extended for Monday’s eclipse

When the moon’s shadow falls on central Kentucky during a rare solar eclipse Monday, 96 percent of the sun will be obscured, according to NASA.

The partial eclipse here will begin at 1:01 p.m.; maximum eclipse will be reached at 2:30 p.m.; and the moon will pass from in front of the sun’s disc at 3:54 p.m.

Throughout the central Kentucky region, there will be public viewings and school events, along with some closures.

Library viewing parties

Some local libraries will be hosting public viewing parties for the eclipse:

• The Boyle County Public Library, will hold a viewing party from 1 to 4 p.m.

The library has purchased 200 pairs of NASA- and American Astronomical Society-approved glasses for viewing the eclipse, and will be distributing them beginning at 1 p.m., limit one pair per family.

Eclipse-themed snacks will be served — Sun Tea, moon pies and Sun Chips. A live feed of the event will be shown inside the library. And there will be a coloring activity for the kids.

• The Lincoln County Public Library will host a viewing party starting at 2 p.m. at First Southern Veterans Park in Stanford.

Glasses will be provided for the first 200 people. Snacks and games will be provided, and music will be provided by Tim Estes.

• The Mercer County Public Library will host a viewing party from 1 to 3 p.m.

Viewing will take place outside and a live feed will also be shown inside. Activities are planned for children and adults.

All attendees must sign in and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Free glasses will be provided to the first 200 people present.

School viewings

Boyle County schools will delay school dismissal until 3:54 p.m. and has purchased 3,100 eclipse-safe viewing glasses for students and staff.

“We are excited to give students the opportunity to safely participate in this rare astronomical event,” Superintendent Mike LaFavers said in a press release from the district.

Any parents wishing to check their students out are asked to do so before 1:30 p.m. Those planning to participate in the eclipse away from the district should contact school principals or Chris Holderman, assistant superintendent, at (859) 236-6634, ext. 3272.

Danville Independent Schools will allow students to view the eclipse using glasses purchased and provided by the school. At this time, said Superintendent Keith Look, school day dismissal will be at the regular time.

“We will evaluate again later this week possible schedule adjustments, if any,” Look said.

If it changes, he said, the information will be sent out to parents as soon as possible.

Burgin Independent, Garrard County and Mercer County school districts will all be having a non-traditional instruction day, allowing students to stay home. Casey County has cancelled school for the day.

Lincoln County students will stay in school until 4 p.m. in order to witness the solar eclipse; the district will provide viewing glasses for all students, which will be distributed the day of the eclipse. Parent permission slips are being sent home this week and must be turned in for a student to view the eclipse.

Lincoln County parents can request to excuse their child from school for the day in order to participate in an educational activity related to the eclipse outside of school. The request form can be found online at http://bit.ly/LincolnEEORF.

Centre College is also preparing for a viewing in front of Young Hall, weather permitting, with a limited number of glasses available.

The eclipse path

The path of totality, where the moon will fully cover the sun for as long as two and a half minutes, is about 70 miles wide, and will cross the United States from Oregon to the coast of South Carolina near Charleston.

“Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, Oregon, will be the first location on continental U.S. soil to see totality,” at 10:15 a.m. pacific time (1:15 p.m. EDT), according to timeanddate.com.

The eclipse will begin in western Kentucky, near Hampton, at about 12:54 p.m.; it will peak there at 2:23 p.m.

The location of the greatest eclipse will be approximately 13 miles northwest of Hopkinsville. The moon will begin passing in front of the sun there at 12:56 p.m., with maximum eclipse at 2:25 p.m.

The eclipse will end for the east coast at approximately 4:10 p.m. in South Carolina.

According to NASA, no one should look directly at the sun without protection as long as any portion of the sun is visible. Safe glasses for viewing the eclipse must be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for products. Other safety guidelines provided by the American Optometric Association, the American Astronomical Association and NASA include:

• Always inspect a solar filter before use. If it is scratched or damaged, discard it. Make sure you read and follow any instructions.

• Supervise children using solar filters.

• Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the sun. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter. Don’t remove protection while looking at the sun.

• Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device, even if you are wearing eclipse glasses or using a hand-held solar viewer.

• If you wear glasses, put your eclipse glasses over the regular glasses.