Are you excited about the eclipse? So are we! Here is some information our librarians have put together to answer all of your eclipse-related questions. We hope that your viewing experience is safe and enjoyable!
WHAT IS A SOLAR ECLIPSE?
A solar eclipse is a rare natural event caused when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. The moon temporarily blocks the sun from view either partially or totally, depending on where in the world it is observed. In Portland this summer, we will be able to see approximately a 58% eclipse at the maximum magnitude.
WHEN WILL IT HAPPEN?
The 2017 eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21st. It is estimated to begin in Portland at 1:29pm and last until 3:57pm. The maximum eclipse is expected to occur at 2:45pm.
WHERE WILL IT HAPPEN?
It will be visible in some form throughout much of North and Central America. The total eclipse will follow a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina.
HOW DO I WATCH IT?
It is never safe to look directly at the sun, even when it is partially eclipsed by the moon. The only safe way to look directly at the sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses.” Ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. You must be sure you are looking through authorized eclipse glasses that have been verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. Look for this symbol:
CAN I USE A WELDING MASK TO WATCH THE ECLIPSE? Using a welding mask or welding glasses to view the eclipse is only safe if they darken at shade #13 or above. Auto-darkening masks are not recommended as some older models may not darken as quickly as you need them to. Most welding lenses (masks, helmets, and goggles) start at a shade rating of #8 and can go up to #13 or above. To ensure complete safety, use lenses with a rating of #13 or above, which have been certified by the American National Standards Institute. To read more about these standards, click here.
WHAT DO I DO IF THE LIBRARY IS OUT OF FREE ECLIPSE GLASSES?
If you were not able to get free eclipse glasses before supplies ran out, don’t panic! Here is a list of alternatives to safely viewing the eclipse.
Purchase ISO Certified Eclipse Glasses
You might still be able to find glasses available for purchase. Check this listing of reputable vendors compiled by the American Astronomical Society: https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters
WHEN WILL THERE BE A TOTAL ECLIPSE IN MAINE?
On April 8th, 2024, there will be a total solar eclipse visible from northern Maine.
SOLAR ECLIPSE TERMS Total Eclipse & Partial Eclipse
Depending on where you are when an eclipse happens, the moon might block out the entire sun or just part of it.
This is the thin ring of sunlight that remains visible around the moon during a total eclipse.
Umbra & Penumbra
The umbra is the darkest, fullest part of the moon’s shadow, as would be seen during a total eclipse. The penumbra is a partial shadow, as we will see during this year’s solar eclipse in Maine.
THE ECLIPSE IN MYTHOLOGY Norse Mythology
Hati the moon devourer and Skoll the sun devourer are the sons of Fenrir and Gulveig-Hoder. These two sons are actually giant wolves who guard the forest where the sun and moon sleep. Skoll chases the sun across the sky and into the sacred forest. Sometimes he catches it and devours it – temporarily.
Svarbhanu is a demon who hides the sun. His downfall is caused by Indra, the king of heaven, who manages to replace the sun in the sky.
The ancient Chinese banged pots and drums to try and scare away the dragon who was devouring the sun. The ancient Peruvians shot arrows into the sky to fend off the beast which was attacking the sun.
Here are some websites that offer a wealth of reliable, reputable, trustworthy information about the 2017 Solar Eclipse:
As a public library, one of our fundamental beliefs is that informed, engaged individuals form the basis of any democratic society.
In light of the events this weekend in Charlottesville, VA, our staff has compiled a list of resources for insight and background.
We hope you will find these resources useful and will share with others. Our librarians are always ready to connect our patrons and our community with vetted sources for learning more.
Books in our collection
This booklist reflects items in our catalog that address hate speech. Many of these titles are from our Choose Civility Initiative Collection, which is held at our Main branch.
Opposing Viewpoints Opposing Viewpoints is a robust library resource that can be accessed with your PPL card. This online tool covers today’s most important social issues, such as hate speech and protests. These informed, differing views present various sides of an issue and help researchers develop the confidence to draw their own valid conclusions.
National Criminal Justice Reference Service
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service is a federally funded resource offering justice-related information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide. It is sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Justice. The NCJRS Spotlight on Hate Crime includes links to the latest statistics, examples of legislation, training and technical assistance opportunities, and other resources related to hate crime.
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank dedicated to informing the public about the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis, and other empirical social science research. Pew Research center does not take policy positions. You can read Pew reports on Free Speech, Protests & Uprisings, and Violence & Society.
Anti-Defamation League The Anti-Defamation League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan civil rights organization dedicated to securing justice and fair treatment to all. ADL has created an Information and Resources Guide for Responding to Hate. This guide includes links to other civil rights organizations as well as federal government agencies that can provide information about legal rights.
Portland Public Library’s Journaling group meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month, at 5:30, in the Portland Room. For July’s gathering we decided to meet at the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Garden, thanks to our wonderful neighbors at Maine Historical Society. (For the August 16th meeting, we’ll be back in the Portland Room, at 5:30.) One of our popular journaling prompts, to get the writing wheels turning, is something we call “write where you are.” We began the summer evening by seating ourselves in different parts of the garden, which offers plenty of nooks and perches. After 12 minutes, we gathered and read aloud what we came up with. Most of our participants sent in their choice excerpts from the exercise, and here they are:
“There are two trellises in front of the brick wall. They appear to be window frames but when one looks through them there is only the bricks. Windows to nowhere. This seems absurd just like the artist who painted ‘This is not a pipe.’ This is not a window.
Some people have windows that have nothing to see when peered out of. Others have windows that showcase spectacular views. Are they always appreciative of the view or does its ability to enthrall wane over time. The human mind enjoys variety. After a certain amount of time it is not aware of what is right in front of it. If sticky notes become ubiquitous the mind ignores them, searching for some fresh perspective to alight on.”
“The pathway of flagstone steps leads up and around through yellow day lilies and ferns. A birdbath sits at the top of the path but no birds are bathing at this moment though their song can be heard from where they perch on branches overhead.”
“A stream comes from lion’s mouth,
The stream hits the water beneath,
Every tree is different,
Dressed leaves or pods.
Some trees stretch their arms towards the sky.”
– Karen P.
“The living brick,
the wind in brick,
Tree stirred to swimming shadow
on the once-dead wall.”
“Colorless sky, unconvincing siren, sea gulls sound their own alarm. A tiny ant makes its way across the sea of bricks, passing by another ant. Writers return to their seats.”
“A stone lion always running his mouth, but forever in one place. This place, with black, iron benches forged with designs of grapes, not of wrath, but of respect for one’s solitude.”. In case someone has submitted a line referencing the lion or the grapes, and you do not wish the collaboration to fall redundant, here is another: “The garden is dressed head to toe in brick, but hidden within a concrete jungle.”
“They are red, purple
Staring up at the sky
waiting to be noticed
Planted to stay
but free to climb
They change the
Of the green landscape.”
“Writers are spread around the garden, surely pleasing Henry’s spirits! At the height of summer, the tress; verdant drapery are at their densest, and earthen aromas of boxwood waft with the breezes. All of this is situated right at the center of the city, and few have any idea this is here, along the busiest street in this state. But on scratch and scribe the writers in Hank’s back yard, scribbling with the seagulls and garden beetles.”– Abraham
(Items from the Library, about the Longfellow Garden!)