Butler County residents will get a chance to witness a solar eclipse Monday afternoon.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon, during its new moon phase, passes in front of the sun casting a shadow on a part of Earth.
People inside the “path of totality,” a 70-mile ribbon stretching from Lincoln Beach, Ore. to Charleston, S.C., will be able to see the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1979.
“What is exciting about this total solar eclipse is that the path of totality cuts a diagonal across the continental United States making it easily accessible for people in the country to view,” said Denise Karavias, associate professor STEM Division at Butler County Community College.
As viewed from Butler County, the moon will cover about 79 percent of the sun. Locally the eclipse will start around 1:10 p.m. and will reach the point of maximum coverage for several minutes around 2:34 p.m. It will end around 3:54 p.m.
The Slippery Rock University planetarium, located in the Vincent Science Center, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. will be showing a NASA livestream featuring footage of the eclipse from around the country in the path of totality. That event is free and open to the public.
Eclipse glasses, which are required to safely view the eclipse, have been a hot commodity in recent weeks.
The Foxburg Free Library, just across the Clarion County line at 31 Main St., Foxburg, has pairs of eclipse glasses available for free that it received through a federal grant.
Butler Eye Care, which has locations in Butler Township and Chicora, and Playthings Etc. on Route 8 in Clay Township have also been selling the glasses as supplies last.
A full report appears in the Butler Eagle.