SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The South Orange Public Library hosted an Eclipse Viewing Party both inside the library and outside on Monday afternoon, August 21. 

Many people were inside the library watching the live-stream of the official NASA feed as the eclipse traveled across the country, while others experienced the eclipse first-hand on the lawn on the south side of and behind the library building. To accommodate those who wanted to be both inside and outside, there was a television set-up in a window facing out so that people could see the broadcast as well as look into the sky.

Those who attended the event with their own solar eclipse glasses, or with ones which were supplied by the library while supplies lasted, were all sharing with others so that everyone had the chance to view the historic event safely.

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Monday's eclipse was the first total solar eclipse to occur in the United States in nearly 40 years, and it's the first time since 1776 that it's happening exclusively in the U.S., according to an update from the SOPL.

Many of those at the eclipse viewing party expressed surprise that at the peak of the eclipse, which took place at about 2:45 p.m., that the skies were not drastically darker then before and after the peak. 

In addition to enjoying being part of the Monday's historic eclipse, several people mentioned they are already looking forward to the next eclipse that will be viewable from the United States -- in 2024.