The Great North American Eclipse

Kalamazoo Astronomical Society President Richard Bell will give a preview of the total solar eclipse that will happen on April 8, explain why solar eclipses occur, and show how to view them safely.

Join us for other Eclipse-related programs:

Tuesday, January 16, 6:30 p.m.Book Discussion with the Mystery Book Club: Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart

Monday, March 11, 6:00 p.m. – Book Discussion with the Parchment Book Group: Sun, Moon, Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses, From Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets by Tyler Nordgren

Saturday, March 23, 10:00-11:30 a.m. – Eclipse Craft Party: Drop in to create indirect solar viewers, envelopes to hold your eclipse glasses, and eclipse-related crafts and/or artwork

Tuesday, April 2, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Eclipse Glasses Giveaway Day: Show your library card at the front desk and get a free pair of eclipse glasses while supplies last!

Monday, April 8, 1:45-4:30 p.m. – Total Solar Eclipse Watch Party: Bring your eclipse glasses and indirect viewers to watch the moon take a bite out of the sun! If the weather permits, we’ll see a partial eclipse outside. See livestreams of the full eclipse from locations in the path of totality inside the library.

February 21 Program Summary:

On the 8th of April 2024, a total eclipse of the Sun will cross North America along a 120-mile-wide path from Mexico, the United States (from Texas to Maine), and Canada. Totality, when the jaw-dropping solar corona becomes visible, lasts for up to 4 minutes and 27 seconds, almost double that of the 2017 eclipse. With 31 million people in the U.S. already living inside totality’s path, 328 million more within a two-day drive, and thousands more coming from around the world, this eclipse promises to be the most viewed in history. Kalamazoo Astronomical Society President Richard Bell will give a preview of this historic event, explain why solar eclipses occur, and show how to view them safely. The next total solar eclipse visible from the continental United States will not occur until 2044, so join us and get ready to stand in the shadow of the Moon!

About the Speaker:

Richard was bitten by the astronomy bug at a very early age. He enjoyed looking at pictures of the planets as early as age 4 and got his first telescope at age 7. Richard has had just about every astronomy-related job one can have in Kalamazoo. He worked at the local planetarium for nine years and sold telescopes at a local hobby shop for six years. After receiving degrees in physics and mathematics from Western Michigan University, he taught introductory astronomy courses at most of the surrounding colleges and universities for over fifteen years. Richard is also an avid observer and astrophotographer. He is one of three lifetime members and the current president of the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society, serving in this position longer than anyone else in its history.


Feb 21 2024


6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


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