Sky-Watching Spectacular: Get Ready & View the 2023 Solar Eclipse at the Library

Posted on August 22, 2023 at 6:00 am

By Gwendolyn Haley

2023 Annular Solar Eclipse

On October 14, 2023, sky-watchers around the world will be treated to the spectacular sight of an annular solar eclipse. During this celestial event, the moon will pass between Earth and the sun, creating a stunning ring of fire as the sun’s outer edges remain visible around the dark moon.

Here in Spokane, we will be able to see about 70 percent of the eclipse. To find out where and when to get the best view, you can visit the NASA web page about the 2023 Annular Eclipse.

Observing an eclipse can be an awe-inspiring experience, but it is essential to do so safely to protect your eyes. Never look directly at the sun with the naked eye because this can cause serious eye damage. It is also important to avoid using regular sunglasses, telescopes, or binoculars to observe the eclipse because they won’t provide adequate protection.

Instead, to watch the annular eclipse, use solar viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers specifically designed for eclipse watching. Alternatively, you can make a pinhole projector to view the eclipse indirectly. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory provides instructions to create a pinhole camera.

Once your safety is ensured, enjoy this breathtaking celestial event and marvel at the wonders of the universe.

Eclipse Programs

The library invites you to get ready for the eclipse with us at one of our planning parties for all ages. Tweens can explore our solar system in a science program, and all ages can experience space using virtual reality headsets.

On the big day, all are invited to view the eclipse with us at Spokane Valley Library. We will have sun-spotter telescopes and sunoculars in adult and child sizes to try out. You can also create a pinhole viewer with the supplies on hand.

Annular Solar Eclipse Planning Party

Come learn all about how you can safely view the upcoming annular solar eclipse. Make your own pinhole eclipse viewer and explore concepts in Solar Science with a variety of fun activities. All ages

Monday, Sep 18, 4–5pm

Wednesday, Sep 20, 3:30–4:30pm

Thursday, Sep 21, 4–5pm

Tuesday, Sep 26, 4–5pm

Wednesday, Sep 27, 4–5pm

Thursday, Sep 28, 4–5pm

Tuesday, Oct 3, 4–5pm

Wednesday, Oct 4, 4–5pm

Saturday, Oct 7, 2–3pm

Saturday Oct 7, 10–11am (scheduled for homeschool families)
Tuesday, Oct 10, 4–5pm

Experience VR: Space Exploration

Experience the awe-inspiring vastness of the universe in virtual reality with SpaceEngine. Explore the surface of the planets in our solar system or travel to a far-flung galaxy without leaving your seat. All ages

Registration is required. Parental permission is required for participants younger than age 13.

Sessions are 20 minutes long, scheduled every 30 minutes.

Wednesday, Sep 13, 5–7:30pm
Saturday, Sep 16, 10am–1pm

Explore the Solar System

A solar eclipse is coming in October. We’re getting ready for the big event by taking a tour around our solar system. See the amazing wonders of our galactic neighborhood as we look at everything from the sun at the center of it all to the very edge of the galaxy’s interstellar space. Plus, take home a collection of planets created on the Glowforge 3D laser printer. Ages 8–12

Saturday, Sep 30, 2–4pm

Annular Solar Eclipse Viewing Party

View the annular solar eclipse with us at the library. Before the big celestial event, learn about annular solar eclipses, create your own pinhole viewer, and explore solar science activities. Please be on time so you can catch the full eclipse. All ages

Saturday, Oct 14, 9–11am

Books about Eclipses & Our Solar System

From our collection for adults:

From our collection for kids:

Gwendolyn Haley

Gwendolyn Haley is a librarian and the Education & Enrichment Public Services Manager at Spokane County Library District, helping to plan programs for all ages, from preschool to adulthood. When not at work, she juggles a little bit of everything: kids, home, community service, gardening, reading, cooking, and more. Oh, and she knows how to juggle—literally.

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