SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- For the first time in 26 years, a total solar eclipse will occur in the United States on Monday, August 21, 2017. It is widely called the Great American Eclipse because it will be so accessible to so many millions of Americans, according to GreatAmericanEclipse.com.

A total solar eclipse is one of the most spectacular sights in nature when the sky suddenly darkens and the sun's corona becomes visible for about two minutes. Viewing a total eclipse can provide a memory of a lifetime.

What causes a solar eclipse? 

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Solar eclipses occur because of a cosmic coincidence: the sun looks to be about the same size as the moon. In actuality, the sun is actually 400 times larger than the moon. However, the moon is also about 400 times closer to earth than the sun is. 

In conjunction, the Scotch Plains Public Library will host a family friendly Solar Eclipse Celebration beginning at 11:00 a.m. The event will feature fun family crafts and activities, and themed treats. Participants will get to create their own pinhole camera. The library will also offer free eclipse glasses while supplies last.

Patrons must have an adult over the age of 18 sign a waiver to receive a pair of glasses and/or create the pinhole camera. Eclipse glasses, crafts, and treats are all available on a first come, first served basis.

This program is free and open to all interested participants. Visit www.scotlib.org or call 908-322-5007 x 204 for more information. The Scotch Plains Library is located at 1927 Bartle Avenue, one block from Park Avenue in the center of town.

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