The Estes Valley Library’s “Solar Eclipse Celebration” takes place this Monday, August 21 from 10 am to 1 pm. We’ll be hosting eclipse information videos in the Hondius Room—and providing solar-themed treats and refreshments to enjoy after the eclipse. Click here for Eclipse Viewing Safety & Information
Also open that same time for sky-gazers is the Estes Park Memorial Observatory at 1600 Manford Avenue, which has three telescopes with white light filters that allows you to see sunspots on the surface of the sun and one telescope with a Hydrogen-alpha filter that allows you to view solar flares and prominences on the sun.
Both the Library and the Observatory will have on hand those special glasses through which you can safely watch the eclipse. However, we, like almost everyone, did not anticipate the excitement around the event. With the glasses, demand is expected to outpace supply.
Our solution is a good one: sharing.
The special glasses available for use on August 21 will be for on-site sharing, not for taking home or for off-site use. Also, to assure availability of glasses for attendees, no glasses are being distributed at the Library before Monday.
The great news: sharing won’t be as difficult as it might sound. The eclipse event is expected to span from 10:22 am to 1:13 pm in our time zone, with totality lasting about 2 minutes at around 11:40 am or so. So there is expected to be plenty of time to view the phenomenon. Even with the special glasses, it is recommended that we look for a few minutes, then give our eyes a needed rest.
Our goal is to make this event festive and community-spirited. If you have a pinhole projector you’ve created for the eclipse, bring it that day. And we’ll have a table where you can make your own.
Parking may be very limited downtown on August 21, as it will be at the Observatory. Allow extra time, and we encourage use of the outlying parking. The new Parking Garage offers free parking and free shuttles leaving the Visitor Center. There is free parking at the Estes Park Event Center, a short walk to the Observatory. Consider bicycling or walking if possible.
Be sure to visit our Solar Eclipse Glasses Information link (click here) for tips on eclipse viewing.
We have fielded many questions about local places to purchase solar eclipse glasses. The Stanley Hotel will have a limited supply of solar eclipse glasses for sale, on Monday morning only, for those attending their festivities: Information Here. If we learn of any other local places to purchase glasses, we will add it to this page.
With these details in mind, make plans to join friends and neighbors at the Library and/or the Observatory this Monday, and enjoy all the “oohs” and “ahs” of this day-to-remember with your friends and neighbors in the Estes Valley.