Don't go to the light!

Northwest Arkansas to experience 90 percent of eclipse

Posted: August 10, 2017 at 1 a.m.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVID GOTTSCHALK Brett Bonine, president-elect of Space and Planetary Association for Collaboration and Education (SPACE) Hogs, the astronomy club at the University of Arkansas, models a pair of viewing glasses that will allow him to watch the total solar eclipse Aug. 21 without harming his vision. The only safe time to remove viewing glasses would be during the few minutes of the eclipse’s totality — which will never appear in Northwest Arkansas. “Even though 93 to 94 percent of sun will be covered in Northwest Arkansas, the sun is really bright, and 7 percent is still a whole lot of sun,” Bonine said.

One of the greatest phenomena in the universe, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people, occurs Aug. 21. A full solar eclipse will track through the middle of the United States, just a few hours north in Missouri.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVID GOTTSCHALK Brett Bonine, president-elect of SPACE Hogs, displays a Newtonian telescope that will be equipped with a solar f...

Library events

Public libraries across the country will be offering programs on the 2017 total solar eclipse and providing viewing glasses to patrons. Here are a few events in Northwest Arkansas.

Fayetteville Public Library

Glasses distribution: 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Limit 1 per person.

Lecture: 6 p.m. Tuesday. “Eclipses — Science and Safety,” by Caitlin Ahrens, UA Center for Space & Planetary Science.

Information: 856-7207,

Springdale Public Library

Safety video, glasses distribution: 11 a.m. Aug. 21, children’s auditorium

Picnic lunch: 11 am. Aug. 21, Murphy Park.

Information: 750-8180,

Bentonville Public Library

Bentonville Public Library celebrates the solar eclipse with “passive” programming due to their repurposing project. Book display: ‘“All Things Space”

Bibliography: BPL online resources

Information: 271-6816,,

Rogers Public Library

When: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 21

Events: Crafts, NASA livestream of eclipse, telescope with solar filter.

No viewing glasses available.

Information: 621-1152


2017 solar eclipse sites

The following sites provide information, resources and opportunities to watch the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21.

UA physics library


Rogers Public Schools

ASU video

2017 solar eclipse

in Northwest Arkansas

What: Moon’s shadow covers sun

Date: Aug. 21.

Begins: 11:43 a.m.

Peak: 1:12 p.m., lasts for almost two minutes

Ends: 2:41 p.m.

Percent of sun covered: 90 to 93 percent

Sources: Alex Hixo, Mellisa Goodger, Julia Kennefick/UA physics department

Future eclipses

Total solar eclipses are a big deal not because of how infrequent they are — there’s a total solar eclipse every 18 months on average — but because of how little of the Earth’s surface falls in the path of any given eclipse shadow. Any given location will see a total solar eclipse only once in more than 300 years, on average.

The last solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States was 38 years ago in 1979. Here’s some information on future eclipses.

Next: July 2019 over Argentina and Chile

2044: April 8, totality to pass between Russellville and Conway

2045: Totality to pass over Bentonville

Sources: NASA/Katherine Auld, NWACC

Source: Katherine Auld

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