Cornerstones in the Path of Totality for the Eclipse
“The beauty of totality is almost indescribable! Taking off your solar glasses at the moment the moon completely covers the sun was like opening a door to another world. To look up at the brilliant corona with red prominences jutting out and seeing all of this in constant motion, a boiling around the blackness of the moon against the sun, it was an unequaled beauty.”-Sarah Post
Cornerstones of Science’s Program and Library Support Manager Sarah Post spent the day of the eclipse in Festus, MO as part of her work on the NASA@MY Library project. The Festus Public Library is one of three pilot libraries in the US on the project and with much planning over a year’s time with numerous partners, the day of the eclipse in Festus was a huge community success and one Sarah and others around the US will not forget.
Over 5,000 people attended an all-day outdoor event on August 21, 2017 in West City Park in Festus, which is about a 40-minute drive south of St. Louis. Fifteen hands-on science activities were ongoing throughout the day facilitated by scientists, librarians, and volunteers. People from all over the world were in attendance as well as those who drove in from surrounding states and those who only lived minutes away. First contact (the beginning of the partial eclipse) began at 11:49am with totality starting at 1:17pm and lasting for two minutes and 36 seconds. Partners included Festus Public Library, Town of Festus, St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis Astronomical Society, the Space Science Institute, Cornerstones of Science, and local vendors.
The Festus Public Library director Kathy Condon-Boettcher was the foundation for the event’s success by coordinating with all the partners and attending eclipse task force events and training throughout the year all the while still running the library. A big thanks goes to her and her staff.