On April 8 of this year, North America will experience a rare celestial event. A total solar eclipse will cross the continent, passing over Mexico, the United States – including parts of western New York – and Canada. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. During the totality, the sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk, and – weather permitting – the Sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, will be observable.
You won’t want to miss out because after April 8, the next total solar eclipse that will be observable from the contiguous United States will be on Aug. 23, 2044.
To help amateur astronomers of all ages better understand this exciting phenomenon, we’ve been hosting a Look to the Skies series of events with Dudley astronomer Dr. Mindy Townsend.
Up next in the series, Dr. Townsend will drop by for a special exploration of Earth’s closest neighbor designed for children ages 6-11. Have you ever wondered why the moon seems to change shape, or why you can sometimes see it during the day, or how it can be so bright? Join us Saturday, Jan. 27, at 10:30 a.m. and find out what makes the moon so weird and wonderful!
On Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. Dr. Townsend will return with a program for adults about the history of eclipses. There are stories throughout history of astronomers, philosophers and scientists who have predicted lunar and solar eclipses to impress, to scare or to intimidate others.
Additional Look to the Skies astronomy events are planned for March and April. Visit bethlehem.librarycalendar.com to sign up.
New GoPros available
One of the very first items in our Library of Things collection was the GoPro Hero3+ camera back in 2015. Those durable little cameras/video recorders were immediately popular and have remained one of our most borrowed “things” to this day. Technology has come a long way since then, and we have regularly updated to the latest GoPro models – leading to our most recent iteration: The GoPro Hero12.
The Hero12 continues to make improvements to picture quality and ease of use, including the ability to grab high-resolution stills from video files. Whether you’re craving your 15 minutes of YouTube fame or simply interested in preserving a moment in time, you can now record your adventures on one of six Hero12s available to borrow, along with tripods and other accessories. Search our catalog at www.bethlehempubliclibrary. to see what’s available.
Read to celebrate Black history
Join us in celebrating Black History Month with a special reading challenge that celebrates Black voices in America. Stop by the Information Desk to pick up a game card starting February 1 and complete any five activities by March 1 to win a prize!
This story was featured on page 5 of the January 24th , 2024 print edition of the Spotlight