Total Eclipse of the Falls

Every now and then, we get a little bit excited about astronomy around here – particularly for a monumental event like Monday’s solar eclipse.

Although only partially visible in the Philadelphia area, the Library’s space-themed eclipse-viewing party was a full success!

A lively group of about 50 neighbors took time out of their Monday afternoon for live streaming coverage and a clever banquet of snacks: Milky Ways, Sun Chips, and Cosmic Brownies (that last one raised some eyebrows on Facebook, ha).

“It was a KID-FRIENDLY party,” Heather Petrone-Shook laughed, “Maybe they should’ve stressed that so the library doesn’t get slammed by stoners.” No worries! All ages came out to celebrate this historic occultation, including our favorite local realtor reporting from the scene with her mom Kathy (these are all her photos).

“An adorable kid just shared his glasses with me, “ Heather texted us as the party kicked off. Later, she took a shot at making her own pinhole viewer – supplies and instructions provided free to attendees.


Although the day was rather overcast, the partial eclipse still delivered for the crowd when it peaked at 2:44 pm. “The sky got dark for a bit, kind of like when a light storm cloud is rolling in,” Heather said. And then it was over: “We came, we saw, we went back to work.”

Big thanks to Meredith McGovern, the children’s librarian, for organizing such a special day around a phenomenon that won’t occur again until 2024 (or 2079, for the next total solar eclipse visible in Philly).

For more great library events, keep an eye on our calendar page here and in our monthly paper, free at businesses around East Falls — and at the library, of course!

Skywatching at St. James

(photo credit: David Kasievich, Head of School at St. James)

How did our neighbors in Allegheny handle the heavenly commotion? Teachers, staff, and 8th grade students broke away from orientation at St. James School in Allegheny West to catch a glimpse of the sky (or the shadows). Some skywatchers used special eclipse glasses, courtesy of the Franklin Institute and science teacher Nick Gurol, but every sort of eclipse watching method seemed to be in use, judging by David’s picture.

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