Where to view solar eclipse in DeKalb County

Here’s what you need to know about viewing a solar eclipse safely

Katie Krupa of DeKalb (front), 9, and her mother Heather Krupa (back right) try to find the sun through the clouds using solar eclipse glasses on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 at the DeKalb Public Library in DeKalb. Heather purchased the glasses for $1 each at Walmart a few weeks ago.

Although its peak is expected to last about four minutes, Monday’s total solar eclipse could be the talk of the town in DeKalb County.

The total solar eclipse – when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth during daytime hours, blocking out the light and casting a shadow on what otherwise might be a sunny day – will be visible in North America on Monday. As the moon blocks sunlight and the earth rotates, the moon’s shadow creates a path called the totality, according to NASA.

Those in the 115-mile area of totality might expect to see full darkness for a few minutes, as if it’s nighttime in the middle of the afternoon.

The eclipse’s path will head north from Mexico and Texas, and then travel through Oklahoma, Arkansa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, according to an eclipse tracker produced by NASA scientists. Those outside the 115-mile-wide path will get a partial eclipse.

In Illinois, totality will be reached in Carbondale and Evansville between 1:59 p.m. and 2:05 p.m. depending on the exact location, according to NASA’s predictor. To see other viewing areas, visit science.nasa.gov.

DeKalb County and much of northern Illinois is expected to be north of the totality, although folks wanting a glimpse of the sky during the event will still be able to see what’s known as a partial eclipse.

This part of the world hasn’t seen a total solar eclipse since Aug. 21, 2017. The U.S. won’t see another total solar eclipse of this scale until 2045, The Associated Press reported.

Many area organizations and groups are planning eclipse watch parties for the day.

Hundreds of people came out to the DeKalb Public Library in DeKalb for a solar eclipse program on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. The library offered free solar eclipse glasses, but all 60 glasses were given out within a few minutes. The library also offered crafts for children and a livestream broadcast of the eclipse.

Here are some places you can join in on the fun in DeKalb County and how to watch the phenomenon safely:

From home

For those wanting to watch from home, the Northern Illinois University Observatory will host a live feed from its solar telescope. For more information, visit facebook.com/NIUObservatory/.

NASA also will host a live feed at science.nasa.gov/eclipses/future-eclipses/eclipse-2024/live/.

NIU Observatory

The NIU Observatory, 218 Normal Road in DeKalb, will host a solar eclipse party from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday. Organizers will have eclipse glasses on hand, DIY eclipse viewers, games and activities. They also will provide a livestreaming feed from the observatory’s solar telescope.

The party will be in the courtyard outside of the observatory.

For more information, visit tinyurl.com/NIUEclipse.

Total Eclipse of the Park event in Sycamore

All are welcome to gather from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Monday at the Sycamore Park District Community Center, 480 Airport Road, to view the eclipse, hosted by the Sycamore Park District and Sycamore Public Library.

The event will feature family-friendly activities, including learning more about solar eclipses, a chance to grab a free eclipse viewer while supplies last, and watch a safety talk from the Fox Valley Astronomical Society on safe solar eclipse viewing, organizers said. Participants will get to look into a solar telescope.

For more information, visit tinyurl.com/SycamoreEclipse.

Learn more ahead of time

DeKalb Public Library will host a solar eclipse party two days in advance.

“Who Turned Out the Lights? Preparing for the Eclipse” will be presented by NIU Observatory’s Jeremy Benson to help participants learn more about a solar eclipse.

The free presentation will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in the library’s Story and Activity Room, 309 Oak St.

At 1:30 p.m., participants will get the chance to make their own solar eclipse scene with provided crafts. Eclipse glasses also will be handed out while supplies last.

For information, email chelsear@dkpl.org or call 815-756-9568, ext. 1700.

Tristan Jensen of DeKalb, 17, looks up, searching for the sun through the cloudy sky on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 at the DeKalb Public Library in DeKalb. Jensen was one of the lucky 60 people to arrive at the library in time to get a free pair of solar eclipse glasses for free before supplies ran out.

Safe viewing

The Illinois Department of Public Health reminds everyone that looking directly at a solar eclipse can cause serious and potentially permanent eye damage. Dark sunglasses are not safe for viewing the sun.

“To directly view the eclipse, people must use special safe eclipse viewers, which meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard,” according to the IDPH.

You also can safely view an eclipse with a pinhole projection, according to NASA.

The Associated Press contributed.

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