La Salle library to host sun party Oct. 7 at Catlin Park

NASA ambassadors will discuss solar safety, eclipse science and NASA’s missions to explore the sun

The La Salle Public Library will be hosting NASA Solar System Ambassadors James Joel Knapper and Scott Pellican from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct, 7, at Catlin Park in Ottawa for a sun party to celebrate the upcoming annular eclipse on Oct. 14 and the total solar eclipse in April of 2024.

Knapper and Pellican will discuss solar safety, eclipse science and NASA’s missions to explore the Sun.

At the event, the library will have solar telescopes, binoculars and sunspotters available to the public to view the sun safely and, perhaps, see sunspots. Additionally, the library will be distributing eclipse glasses that were part of a grant from STAR Library Network and the Moore Foundation. With the glasses, there will be a fun activity to make a holder to keep the glasses safe during the time between eclipses and a brochure with information about this unique celestial event.

Since the seventh grade, Knapper has been hooked on NASA and space exploration. Knapper earned a Bachelor of Science in English education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Through the years, Knapper has never lost his interest in the space program and continues learning more daily.

Pellican, a La Salle resident and retiree, is in his second year as a NASA Solar System Ambassador and credits the La Salle Public Library and fellow ambassador Knapper for introducing him to this “amazing adventure”.

The sun party is a family-friendly event, open to the public, and all park rules apply. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be canceled – an announcement of cancellation will be posted on the library’s Facebook page.

Catlin Park is located at 2650th E 1251st Road, Ottawa. For more information, call the library at 815-223-2341 or visit the Program Portal at the following link at