South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday)

Celebrate solar eclipse at these gathering spots

- By Lois K. Solomon

South Florida is not in the path of the April 8 total eclipse. But we will still see something really cool in the sky, according to a local expert.

“It will look like someone took a big bite out of the sun,” said Eric Vandernoot, Florida Atlantic University’s astronomy and physics lab coordinato­r. “And then it will pass.”

The eclipse will begin at about 1:50 p.m. and end at about 4:14 p.m. in South Florida, Vandernoot said. Maximum coverage, when the sun is mostly hidden by the moon, will be at 3:02 p.m.

Vandernoot is encouragin­g eclipse enthusiast­s to attend a Sidewalk Astronomy viewing party at FAU, which will have telescopes and free eclipse glasses. However you choose to celebrate this rare cosmic event, make sure to get special glasses that protect your eyes or make your own (instructio­ns at eclipses/safety). We need to keep our vision healthy for the next total solar eclipse to be experience­d in the United States, on Aug. 23, 2044.

Here are eclipse-related activities taking place Monday throughout Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., is inviting the community to participat­e in a Total Eclipse Viewing Party from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Participan­ts can make a suncatcher and do quizzes and crossword puzzles as the livestream from NASA plays on a big screen. Go to broward.

The Museum of Discovery and Science, 401 SW Second St., will welcome visitors to watch the eclipse from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Activities include a visit to the GeoDome Planetariu­m and an IMAX Theater showing of “Deep Sky.” The event is included with museum admission, which is $27 for adults, $25 for seniors and $22 for children age 2 to 12. Go to


Meet in the Lauderhill Towne Centre Library, 6399 W. Oakland Park Blvd., from 1 to 4 p.m. to see the partial eclipse outside, then watch the total eclipse livestream­ed inside. Call 954-357-6406.

Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County libraries Solar eclipse glasses are being given away for free through the Palm Beach County Library System (while supplies last) with one pair per library card, which must be shown at time of pickup. Go to

The library system also created a space-themed music playlist, with songs such as “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (Bonnie Tyler), “Moondance” (Van Morrison), “Dancing in the Dark” (Bruce Springstee­n) and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” (The Fifth Dimension). Go to pbclibrary.freegalmus­ home.

West Palm Beach

Mandel Public Library, 411 Clematis St., is giving out free glasses to library-card holders. On Monday, the library will also offer a program, “So Long, Mr. Sun,” in which children can decorate a moon to contribute to a community mural. Participat­ing families can receive a copy of the book “Rocket Says Look Up!” by Nathan Bryon, while supplies last. Go to wpbcitylib­

Cox Science Center and Aquarium, 4801 Dreher Trail N., will have activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center will allow visitors to view the eclipse in its observator­y, which holds South Florida’s largest publicly available telescope, according to the museum. Guests

also will be able to ask scientists questions about space. Museum admission is $24 for adults, $22 for seniors and $20 for kids age 3 to 12. Go to coxscience­ eventview.

Boca Raton

Florida Atlantic University’s Astronomic­al Observator­y will host a community viewing event on the east lawn of the campus’ SE-43 building from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Free parking will be available in Lot 4. For more details on this Sidewalk Astronomy Event, contact Eric Vandernoot, astronomy and physics lab coordinato­r, at 561-297-STAR, or go to cescos.­y/observator­y.

Palm Beach Gardens

The city is hosting a free gathering from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Mirasol Park, 12385 Jog Road. The event will include viewing glasses, craft projects, snacks, safety informatio­n and a presentati­on. Bring a blanket or chair. Go to

Both counties

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, which has restaurant­s in Boynton Beach, Royal Palm Beach and Pompano Beach, is offering the winner of a drawing on Monday free food for 20 years (until the next eclipse). Every entrant gets a code for free Texas toast from April 8 to 14. Go to raisingcan­ solareclip­se.

 ?? ALEXANDRA WIMLEY/CHICAGO TRIBUNE ?? People watch the solar eclipse from Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago on Aug. 21, 2017.
ALEXANDRA WIMLEY/CHICAGO TRIBUNE People watch the solar eclipse from Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago on Aug. 21, 2017.

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