On Monday, August 21st the Great American Solar Eclipse will darken skies from Oregon to South Carolina. Unfortunately, Berks County is not in the “path of totality”, but that doesn’t mean we will miss out. Falling in the 75% zone, Berks County will see a partial eclipse which should begin at 1:20pm, peak around 2:45pm and end at 4pm.
Total eclipses across the United States don’t happen too often, the last one happened in 1979. It’s been over 20 years since Pennsylvania has seen a significant partial solar eclipse.
If you haven’t heard this a million times.. Don’t look at the sun! Not even with regular sunglasses. You can cause serious damage to your eyes. This is especially important because Berks County will not see the full eclipse, meaning the sun will always be at least partially visible the entire time.
Telescopes, cameras, binoculars and other optical devices need their own solar filters. Just like your eyes, be careful when pointing your phone or camera at the sun.
Make sure all solar viewing equipment has the proper international standard certification. Look for the ISO number: 12312-2. Do not use solar glasses or filters without certification. Inspect your solar viewing glasses for small pinholes, scratches or tears.
DIY Pinhole Projector
Did you know you can make your own solar eclipse pinhole projector from common items from around your house? It’s easy, all you need is a cereal box, aluminum foil and tape! Learn how by watching this video from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Solar Eclipse Parties
Reading Public Library at DoubleTree Hotel: Join the Reading Public Library for their Rooftop Solar Eclipse Party from 1-3 pm on the DoubleTree parking garage rooftop. Complimentary solar eclipse glasses provided for all participants. Activities for children. Smokehouse and Gourmand food trucks will be parked across the street from the Doubletree in State Building lot. This event is open to the public with a $1 donation; library card holders enter for free. No registration necessary. 701 Penn Street Reading, PA 19601
Muhlenberg Library: Experience the solar eclipse at the Muhlenberg Library. 200 pairs of viewing glasses will be handed out to attendees to safely watch the eclipse. Solar Viewing Glasses are funded by STAR_Net, NASA@My Library, and a grant from the Moore Foundation awarded to The Space Science Institute. 1-4pm. 3612 Kutztown Rd, Reading, PA 19605
Kutztown Community Library: Family fun at the Kutztown Community Library from 1-4pm. Projects, snacks and T-shirt decorating (bring dark colored t-shirt). Free glasses to the first 100 people. 70 Bieber Alley, Kutztown, PA 19530
Other Solar Eclipse Parties include the Berks Nature Center and Boyertown Community Library, however these events have closed registration.
Still looking for solar eclipse viewing equipment? Here is a list of reputable vendors for solar eclipse glasses and filters. https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters
Can’t get out of the office to watch the eclipse? Visit the NASA website for full live video coverage of the Solar Eclipse from coast to coast. https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive