In your Solar Eclipse Viewing #6 blog post, Ken Brandt from the Robeson Planetarium talks about great resources that can help plan eclipse events. Local libraries and other educational institutions can obtain free training for eclipse events, like the one coming up on April 8th. If you want your local library to offer eclipse events for your community, just keep reading. All the links are here:

Today we’re going to talk about some outreach organizations formed exclusively for eclipse events. Here are a few that you should be aware of:

  1. NASA and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific have joined forces to offer an outreach effort in connection with the STAR network of public libraries in the US.

Operation SEAL (Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries) has compiled an outstanding dossier of Astronomy Outreach leads, to include Andy Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz.  

While it’s too late for libraries to get free eclipse glasses, they can still be part of Operation SEAL.

There are also SEAL Eclipse experts who will volunteer to train librarians and their patrons as well. For example, I will be leading a training for the Hoke Public Library in the coming weeks, and am available if other libraries wish to schedule a virtual training. You can contact me through the NC Science Trail link at the top of this page.

Another outreach network your institution might tap into for volunteers and experts: the Undergraduate Eclipse Ambassador Program. Otherwise known as Eclipse Ambassadors Off the Path, this is a volunteer network of amateur astronomers and undergraduates. These can be used to supplement events you’re already doing.

As you can see in the map below (yellow circles indicate ambassadors), NC’s larger population centers are well represented. However, looking at the map of the region gives some hope for those in the NE and SW parts of the state, as there are ambassadors in neighboring states reasonably close by.

These networks will dissolve away soon, as the next eclipse in our part of the USA happens in 21 years, August 12, 2045. So make those connections with these networks now, so you can increase your pool of potential volunteers in astronomy, or other disciplines at your venue. Who knows-you might be talking to the next planetarium director, or trail guide! I’ll be sure to get the word out about that one too-assuming that you’ll still be reading, and I’ll be posting, of course.

Glancing around the websites, there are links to a bevy of bountiful resources you should peruse. As I’ve said previously, in a previous blog post (twice), the more resources you bring to bear on your events, the greater options you have-especially if you’re on the wrong end of that 50/50 average cloud cover April 8th.

Next week: Swan songs

Can you believe the eclipse is almost here?


Ken Brandt directs the Robeson Planetarium and Science Center in Lumberton, NC.  He is a volunteer in NASA’s Solar System Ambassador Program. He is also a member of the 3rd cohort of NC Space Grant Ambassadors, and an Ambassador for the Mars Society.