Total Solar Eclipse
We are distributing the solar viewing glasses only through specific library programming (listed below) leading up to the eclipse. That means patrons will need to attend one of the designated programs to receive a pair of solar viewing glasses from the library, limited to 1 pair of glasses per household with the exception of the March Reading Program and the Spring Break Art Contest.
Note: Glasses are passed out at the end of programs and are only available while supplies last. Glasses cannot be reserved, put on hold, or picked up at the front desk.
March Reading Challenge (Kids)
March 1-March 30, 2024
Join our one-month reading challenge for kids, where each reading challenge completed allows them to color in boxes on their Texas-shaped reading tracker. Once the entire state is vibrant with literary triumphs, they can trade it in for a pair of solar eclipse glasses! Limit 1 pair of solar viewing glasses per participant and available while supplies last.
Visit our Youth Services desk to sign up and get started!
Spring Break Art Contest (Kids and Teens)
March 11-15, 2024
Join our Spring Break Art Contest for kids and teens where every brush stroke earns you a chance to gaze at the skies—contest participants will receive a pair of solar viewing glasses. Only one entry per person. Limit 1 pair of glasses per participant and available while supplies last.
Art work must be summitted in person at the Youth Services desk between March 11 at 10:00 a.m. and March 15 at 5 p.m.
Eclipse Fair (All Ages)
March 13 @ 4-5:30PM
Come to this family-friendly event designed to celebrate the wonder of eclipses with hands-on activities, creative crafts, and enlightening demonstrations. Attend this event to receive a pair of solar viewing glasses. Limit to 1 pair of glasses per household and available while supplies last.
Senior Science (Ages 65+ and caregivers)
March 20 @ 1-2:30PM
Specially designed for our senior community. Join us for an unforgettable afternoon of learning about the science behind total solar eclipses, their cultural significance, and how to observe them safely through interactive activities. Limit to 1 pair of glasses per household and available while supplies last.
Eclipse Book Club (Ages 18+)
April 3, 2024 @ 1-2PM
In this special book club, discuss Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s new book To Infinity and Beyond and receive a pair of solar glasses. Limit 1 pair of glasses per household and available while supplies last. No registration required.
Skype a Scientist (Kids and Teens)
April 4, 2024 @ 4-5PM
Join us for an intergalactic adventure as we Skype with a scientist exploring exoplanet atmospheres and the quest for life beyond Earth, all while giving YOU the chance to ask questions that unlock the secrets of space! Attend this event to receive a pair of solar viewing glasses. Limit to 1 pair of glasses per household and available while supplies last.
All regular library programs during the week of April 1-6.
Please consult our online calendar for a list of these programs and descriptions. March and April events will be posted mid-February.
On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. There are two to five solar eclipses each year, but it takes an average of 375 years for it to happen in the same place! This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Leander residents.
What to expect from a total eclipse:
A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. People viewing the eclipse from locations where the Moon’s shadow completely covers the Sun, known as the path of totality, will experience a total solar eclipse. The sky will become dark, as if it were dawn or dusk. Weather permitting, people along the path of totality will see the Sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by the bright face of the Sun.
NASA has created a handy one-page guide to this eclipse you can download and share with the people with whom you view the eclipse.
Key times to remember:
In Leander, the Moon will begin to cross the Sun at 12:17:38 p.m. on Monday, April 8, 2024. Totality, when the Moon completely covers the sun, begins at 1:35:35 p.m. and ends at 1:39:09 p.m. The Moon will continue to cover at least part of the Sun until 2:58:22 p.m.
Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing.
Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.
NASA and the American Astronomical Society have tips for eye safety, include resources for purchasing reputable safe solar viewers, as well as instructions for safely viewing an eclipse through images projected through small holes in paper or a kitchen colander, or even simply through fingers or the dappled shade of tree leaves.
Cloudy Weather Plan:
If you are not in a place with a clear view of the sky, or if clouds are between you and the eclipse, you can watch one of several eclipse livestreams. The Exploratorium has compiled a collection of livestreams from various locations–choose your favorite.
Time and Date: Eclipse times, paths, phase animations, maps, and much more...
NASA: NASA studies solar eclipses from the ground, in our atmosphere, and in space, influencing solar and Earth science.
The Great American Eclipse: Published by Michael Zeiler and Polly White, this site provides information, maps, photos and videos related to all types of solar eclipses around the world.