Science Café shines a light on eclipses Aug. 20 at Stillwater Public Library


Stillwater Public Library and Science Café OSU are offering a community program Sunday, Aug. 20, at 2:00 p.m. in the Stillwater Public Library Auditorium. The program, “Science of Eclipses,” features Dr. Eric Benton, OSU Department of Physics and Physics Ph.D. students, Oliver Causey, Rajesh Panthi and Bryan Hayes.

The program will provide valuable, easy to understand scientific information to community members high school age and older who will be viewing the solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The first 100 attendees to the program will receive a pair of eclipse glasses provided by Friends of the Stillwater Public Library.

The Aug. 21 total eclipse will be visible from Oregon to South Carolina. This is the first total eclipse visible from the continental U.S. since 1979 and the first visible from coast to coast since 1918. The next total eclipse visible from the mainland will be in 2024.

For Stillwater viewers, a partial eclipse will be visible beginning at 11:37 a.m. and ending at 2:35 p.m. The closest viewing of the total eclipse is at the northeastern tip of Kansas.

According to Benton, he and the other speakers will be making the drive to Kansas for the big event.

“We will take a solar telescope with us and hopefully get some nice pictures,” said Benton. “At the end of the Science Café program, we plan to demonstrate the solar telescope in the parking lot.  There won’t be an eclipse (obviously), but attendees may be able to view some sunspots or prominences that are visible.”

Sylvie & Cora Mornhinweg try out a pair of solar eclipse glasses at Stillwater Public Library. The library is giving out 100 pairs of glasses to community members who get a new library card and 100 to those attending its Aug. 20 Science Café program.

Community members planning to view the partial eclipse must take special precautions to protect their eyesight. Information on safe viewing is available courtesy of City of Stillwater’s Dept. of Emergency Management at The library will also be giving out a pair of glasses to 100 people who apply for a new library card from now until the Aug. 20 program.

This Science Café will also be streaming live through OState TV. Sponsors for this Science Café OSU Community Program include the Stillwater Public Library, OSU Library, OSU Vice-President for Research, and the OSU Chapter of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.

Professional Development Credit Forms will be available for public school teachers who attend.

Science Café events are free and open to the public. No science background is assumed or required.

For more information, contact the OSU Library at 405-744-2376, or the Stillwater Public Library at [email protected] or 405-372-3633.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.).