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Library Programs Facilitate Viewing of First Total Solar Eclipse Since 1979

Solar Eclipseby Dominick Forte
Millions of Americans from coast to coast will be treated to a spectacular sight via one of nature’s rarest celestial phenomena, a total eclipse of the sun. On Monday, August 21st, the moon’s shadow will fall on the Earth as the moon slides in front of the sun. An unnatural darkness will descend and our planet will become still and quiet. During this total eclipse, the moon will block out the entire sun’s surface but the outer atmosphere,.The normally invisible corona will appear as a halo around the black moon. And the eyes of millions of earthlings will ascend to focus on the shimmering sight occurring above.
Fortunately for those living on the South Shore of Long Island, this scene of unimaginable beauty will be enhanced by the programs of the Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library. Residents will have the opportunity to experience the spectacular view of America’s first total eclipse of the sun since 1979. The Library is hosting programs for all ages so they can learn about, prepare to view, and experience this magic moment.
Shuttle buses will be running from the Library to the Smith Point Beach Wilderness Center from 1:30 to 3:30 PM. Special glasses will be distributed for safe viewing while supplies last. Only patrons using the provided safety glasses will be admitted to the program which is open to adults and families. Any minors participating must be accompanied by an adult. Persons riding the shuttle bus must register in advance with their own Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library Card. Registration ends August 17th.
Library spokesperson Josephine Wuthenow, Department Head of Reference and Adult Services, says that “the program has generated a great deal of interest and excitement. We really didn’t know what to expect. But all our expectations have been totally eclipsed, so to speak. The Library team has been overwhelmed by the public’s enthusiasm.”
Librarian Catherine Gorden, who has served as Project Supervisor added, “When we started out way back when, we didn’t realize just how big this thing would become. The program has evolved into a mega-event, with interest and participation steadily growing. We are very gratified that our efforts have been met with such a great response from our members.”

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