Pike County 4-H is hosting a Solar Eclipse Community Viewing Party, 12 to 4 p.m., Monday, August 21st.

MATAMORAS - Pike County 4-H is hosting a Solar Eclipse Community Viewing Party, 12 to 4 p.m., Monday, August 21st. The event, which is dependent on having sunny weather, is scheduled at Airport Park, 701 Avenue Q, Matamoras.

Though this region is not in the path of the total solar eclipse, there will be a partial eclipse visible across northeastern United States.

Pike County 4H will provide materials and instructions to build a solar eclipse viewing device, and they will have live streaming of the total solar eclipse projected on a big screen.

All ages, both adults and children, are welcome to attend; there is no cost. The concession stand will be offering “great solar specials,” said Angie Smith, Director, Pike County 4-H.

Smith said that the wide open spaces at Airport Park is perfect for eclipse watching.
From a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina, the Moon’s shadow will cross in August 21st, giving millions of people a chance to see a rare total solar eclipse. For the rest of North America, the Sun will be partially covered by the passing Moon.
As seen from Matamoras, Pa., almost 71% of the Sun will be covered at maximum extent. As is given at www.timeanddate.com, the eclipse begins at 1:21 p.m.; maximum is at 2:42 and the eclipse is over at 3:58 p.m.

Safe viewing is essential at any solar eclipse, to prevent harm to the eyes. The Sun may be safely viewed either with specially made solar filters, properly used, or by any one of several indirect means to view the projected crescent of the Sun during a partial eclipse.

Smith stated that during the time leading up to the eclipse, she will be helping kids make safe solar viewers made from a toilet paper tube covered on one end with aluminum foil where a pinhole is made. The Sun’s image will then be cast onto a white card.

She will also have a supply of safe solar eclipse filter glasses, which permit direct observation.

The Matamoras park and recreation department will be supplying the screen to show a live broadcast of the total solar eclipse, provided by NASA.

Instructional material on eclipses will be shown on posters.

Smith recalled the excitement when as a second grader at Delaware Valley Elementary in May 1984, students were being shown another partial solar eclipse.
In addition to the eclipse information, Smith said that she hopes to use the event to help promote 4-H and recruit members as well as potential 4-H leaders. Smith took over as director in May after several months when there wasn’t a director. Some of the clubs became inactive in that time, but Pike County 4-H is now actively working to bring them back.

As for the eclipse she added,“Positive thoughts for a clear, sunny day,” in an announcement sent describing the calendar of Penn State Extension programs for August.

For more information about 4-H in Pike County, call Penn State Extension at 570-226-3400.

Editor’s Note: Is any other group or individual planning a public solar eclipse viewing event on August 21st, in the region? Please contact The News Eagle so that we may help to promote it. Email news@neagle.com or call Managing Editor Peter Becker at 570-226-4547 ext.107.