Library hosts pre-eclipse session

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Robert Jackson, retired NASA engineer, will be presenting a pre-eclipse program on Thursday at 4 p.m. Jackson uses the nine-foot model of the sun in the back of his truck as a visual aid to demonstrate what will happen on Monday, as the Moon blocks the Sun from the Earth.
Photo Courtesy of Maury Wood, Westhills Elementary School

The Marshall County Memorial Library will be hosting a pre-solar eclipse event this Thursday, Aug. 17 at 4 p.m.

Jennifer Pearson, of the Marshall County Memorial Library, stated that the event is educational and is open to all audiences.

Guest speaker, Robert Jackson, will be presenting a simulation of how a solar eclipse occurs. Jackson, a retired NASA engineer, is hoping to help the participants better understand more about the once-in-a-lifetime event.

Being a NASA employee for 40 years, Jackson knows all there is to know about the solar eclipse. He has put together a live presentation for his audience to observe.

“I have built a model of the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth to visually explain how a solar eclipse happens”, says Jackson.

A solar eclipse is a rarity due to the fact that the Sun, Moon, and Earth have to line up in certain locations at the exact same time and distance. This phenomenon only occurs every 400 years, making this a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Jackson states, “the Sun, Moon, and Earth must be in a direct line; once the Moon crosses between the Earth and the Sun, the solar eclipse happens.”

Pearson and Jackson both want the Marshall County audience to enjoy the eclipse, but to also keep their safety in mind.

It is true that if you look directly at the solar eclipse without proper eye wear, your eyes have the potential to become damaged.

Jackson advises that the UV rays from the Sun will cause damage to eyes.

“Protective eye wear must be worn during the entire eclipse,” Jackson said.

Luckily, if you stop by the library Thursday, you have a chance to get free protective solar eclipse glasses.

“The glasses are free and will be handed out at the end of the pre-solar eclipse event,” Pearson said.

However, there are a limited number of solar eclipse glasses available so it will be first-come first-serve.

When participants arrive to the library this Thursday, tickets will be handed out. Once the event ends, the tickets will be collected and glasses will be handed out to those who have a ticket.

Jackson says to be prepared to use the glasses around noontime on the day of the eclipse.

Marshall County is just south of the path of totality, but our county will be able to see 98 to 99 percent of the solar eclipse.

The MCML hopes that members of the community will come out learn about the solar eclipse to understand the science behind this rare event. Admission into the event is free.