Community invited to view Solar Eclipse

8/9/2017, midnight
If you're looking for a special spot to view the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, head over to the ...
Sun watchers gather around telescopes fitted with white light solar filters. Image Credit: NASA Kepler Mission

If you're looking for a special spot to view the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, head over to the Forest Preserve's Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon.

A "Drop-in Solar Eclipse" program is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

"The program will provide an opportunity for people to view the eclipse safely with NASA-approved glasses," said Kelli Park, an interpretive naturalist for the Forest Preserve District. "We will have glasses for the first 75 people who show up."

Participants should check in at the visitor center, which will be open for restroom facilities and educational information. Interpretive naturalists will be on hand to help answer questions. They also will oversee solar eclipse activities and they will pass our fliers that explain what is happening in the sky.

People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and a picnic lunch that they can enjoy while the sun disappears behind the moon.

"This will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental United States in 38 years," Parke said. "The eclipse can be viewed anywhere in the United States where the sun is visible; however, to safely view the eclipse, people need to be wearing NASA-approved eclipse glasses."

The moon will start to cover the sun at 11:57 a.m. and the eclipse event will last until 2:40 p.m.

"We will be able to view a partial solar eclipse for a little less than two minutes where the sun will be about 88 percent covered at 1:21 p.m.," Parke explained. "This

will be a maximum sun coverage for the eclipse for our area."

Registration is not required for this free, all-ages program. Four Rivers is located at 25055 W. Walnut Lane in McKinley Woods.

To learn more about the eclipse and how to view it safely, NASA has put together several helpful articles on its website, eclipse2017.nasa.gov.