Shoot for the Stars: 2017 Eclipse Across America

SCLSNJ’s library branches will distribute free eclipse viewing glasses to safely observe the Great American Solar Eclipse on August 21. On August 21, starting at 1 p.m. the following libraries will be connecting to NASA TV to live stream the eclipse as it makes its way from Oregon to South Carolina: Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Manville, North Plainfield, and Warren Twp. 

Shoot for the Stars: 2017 Eclipse Across America

SCLSNJ was selected through a registration process managed by the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) and its NASA @ My Library project. The 2017 Solar Eclipse project is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF5373 to the Space Science Institute. SCLSNJ would like to thank the Planetarium at Raritan Valley Community College for donating free tickets to planetarium shows or Laser Light concerts. Tickets will be raffled at eclipse-related programs for children.

Children, teen, and all ages programs

The Great American Solar Eclipse (ages 8-10)
On August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible on a narrow track stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. Learn about the solar system and eclipses, and participate in a hands-on activity that demonstrates how eclipses work. Presented by Amateur Astronomers of NJ.

Our Magnetic Sun: Get Ready for the Solar Eclipse (entering grades 4-8)
Learn about our sun and how it dominates what heliophysicists call “space weather.” Weather permitting, observe real-time solar prominences, using a specialized hydrogen-alpha solar telescope. Presented by amateur astronomer Bob Reichman.

RVCC Planetarium: Activity Stations
Presented by RVCC Planetarium. Activities willvary per session.

Meet the Constellations (ages 5-10)
Learn about famous constellations and make your own star wheel.

Visit the StarLab: Tour the Night Sky (entering grades 3+)
Learn about constellations, astronomy, mythology and the upcoming Great Solar Eclipse. Presented by RVCC Planetarium.

Out of This World Teen Trivia Night (entering grades 7-12)
Show us what you know about outer space and science-fiction

Build a Solar Eclipse Viewer
Both programs hosted at SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch. Listen to astronomy stories and make your own eclipse viewer. You must use a viewer to see it safely. Bring a shoebox or wrapping paper tube.

Eclipse Road (ages 5-10)
Follow the path of the sun through the sky and explore astronomical happenings along the way. Make two glow-in-the-dark crafts.

Solar Oven Making & Solar S’mores (ages 8+)
Both programs hosted at SCLSNJ’s Bound Brook Memorial Library branch. Construct a solar oven to harness the sun’s energy on August 21. Weather permitting, make the best snack ever using the solar oven on August 22. No registration required.

Adult programs

Author David Baron: Edison and the Eclipse that Enlightened America (adults)
On July 29, 1878, a total solar eclipse crossed America’s Wild West. The astronomical event lured many of the era’s great scientists to the frontier, including Thomas Edison, who trekked from New Jersey to Wyoming to test a device he had invented to study the hidden sun. David Baron, award-winning journalist and author of the new book “American Eclipse”, will share the story of Edison and other eclipse chasers of 1878, and how that astronomical event spurred America’s rise as a global scientific power.

Final Frontier Design Studio: Space Suits and Gloves Designers (adults)
Have you ever wanted to see a real space suit? Nikolay Moiseev, co-founder of Final Frontier Design, a Brooklyn-based design studio, will explore space suits, display examples of Final Frontier Design’s work, and share stories of his 25+ years of experience designing, building, and flying space suits. Ages 9+ are welcome with an adult.

Meet Galileo Galilei (adults)
Galileo, Italian astronomer, scientist and philosopher, played a leading role in the Scientific Revolution. He improved the telescope and made many significant discoveries in astronomy. His findings encouraged him to speak out for the Copernican view that the earth revolved around the sun. Despite being censured by the church, Galileo continued to make important scientific discoveries until his death in 1642. Bob Gleason, an actor with the American Historical Theatre, portrays Galileo Galilei. Ages 9+ are welcome with an adult.

When the Sun Goes Dark: Getting Ready for the Great Solar Eclipse (adults)
Learn scintillating facts about the Sun, how eclipses happen, and why we don’t have them all the time. Prepare your own “device” to safely track the eclipse’s progress from your own backyard. Weather permitting, observe the sun using a specialized telescope. Presented by amateur astronomer Bob Reichman. Ages 9+ are welcome with an adult.

NASA’s Solar System Ambassador presents: Eclipses, Ellipses, and NASA Missions (adults, teens, tweens)
One of the thirteen original United States’ NASA Solar System Ambassadors, Hillsborough resident, Michael Dean Lewis, Ph.D., will talk about the total solar eclipse which will occur on August 21. A total solar eclipse of this magnitude, not seen since 1918, will be explained in perspective to Earth’s motion and how NASA missions relate to this event. In addition, Ambassador Lewis will discuss the Cassini mission when the Saturnian explorer will end its nearly twenty year mission in deep space as well as the Mars, Ceres and Jupiter missions.

The Great American Solar Eclipse (adults)
Learn about the history of eclipses, how and why they happen, and how to best view the year’s best astronomical event. Presented by amateur astronomer Paul Cirillo, a board member of the New Jersey Astronomical Association, and an outreach “Ambassador” for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.