Solar Eclipse Set for Monday, August 21, 2017

Media Advisory
June 21, 2017

Dr. Andrew Fraknoi to Discuss Solar Eclipses on July 8 and August 12, 2017 at Local Libraries

WHAT: For the first time in 38 years, a total solar eclipse will be visible in the continental United States. Taking place Monday, August 21, 2017, the total eclipse will only be observable from the United States, and will be seen along a 60 mile wide path from Oregon and continuing to the southeast, ending in South Carolina. Santa Clara County residents will experience a 60% darkening of the sun on this day.

In preparation for the solar eclipse, local teachers, astronomy enthusiasts and the general public are invited to learn more about eclipses, what they are, how to safely view them and why the August 2017 eclipse is so special. Dr. Andrew Fraknoi, astronomy professor at Foothill College, will lead the discussion followed by a question and answer period.

WHODr. Andrew Fraknoi, chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College, and co-author of “When the Sun Goes Dark,“ a new children’s book on solar eclipses, is the featured speaker. A member of the 2017 Eclipse Task Force of the American Astronomical Society, Fraknoi is dedicated to training teachers and librarians in the fundamentals of a solar eclipse so they can then act as guides to those around them as the August eclipse approaches. Explaining astronomical developments in everyday language, Fraknoi has been interviewed by a variety of media outlets including NPR and KQED’s public radio “Forum” with Michael Krasny.

In 2007, Fraknoi was named California Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. In honor of his contributions to the promotion of public understanding of science, the International Astronomical Union renamed Asteroid 4859 as “Asteroid Fraknoi.” Additional honors include the 2007 Richard H. Emmons award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Andrew Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics, and the 1994 Annenberg Foundation Award from the American Astronomical Society.  In 2013, Fraknoi was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Friends of the Lick Observatory.


Cupertino Library
Saturday, July 8
3 – 4:30 pm
10800 Torre Avenue
Cupertino, CA 95014

Milpitas Library
Saturday, August 12
2 – 3:30 pm
160 N. Main Street
Milpitas, CA 95035

WHY: The August 2017 eclipse is particularly special as it will be the first total eclipse in the U.S. since 1991 (when it passed over the State of Hawaii). However, this year’s eclipse is the first total solar eclipse to take place in the contiguous U.S. since 1979, the first to cross the U.S. from coast to coast since 1918, and the first with a path of totality exclusive to the U.S. since the nation’s founding in 1776.
Events are free and open to the public. No reservations required. Copies of “When the Sun Goes Dark” by Dr. Fraknoi will be available for purchase and signing following the lecture.

ABOUT THE BOOK:   “When the Sun Goes Dark,” co-authored by Dr. Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz, provides children and adults an easy way to understand a total solar eclipse, how it happens, and how to view one safely. The book gives hands-on learning techniques to better understand the science behind eclipses of the sun and moon.

Picture of Eclipse Path

Figure 1 Courtesy of NASA
About the Santa Clara County Library District
The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes more than 1.9 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, eBooks and extensive online resources accessible from home or work.

In 2014, SCCLD celebrated one hundred years of service to local residents. For the last several years, SCCLD has been consistently recognized as one of America’s Star Libraries by Library Journal. In 2016, SCCLD was ranked among the top ten large libraries in the United States in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. In 2014 and 2015, SCCLD won Innovator Awards from the Urban Libraries Council.

The Santa Clara County Library District includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. In 2016, the Santa Clara County Library District had more than 270,000 library cardholders and welcomed 3.3 million visitors who borrowed 9.1 million items.

Nancy Howe/Chris Brown/Lili Smith
Santa Clara County Library District
(408) 293-2326 ext. 3001/3002/301