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Chester County Press

In awe: Kennett Square park draws more than 250 to eclipse viewing

08/22/2017 01:29PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

Spread out on the gently sloping lawn across from the bandshell at Anson B. Nixon Park in Kennett Square, a crowd of nearly 250 men, women and children tilted their heads upward on Monday and, behind eclipse glasses and makeshift replicas, watched in awe as the moon slowly blocked out the sun.
A solar eclipse was clearly visible above the park for more than two hours, seen in the form of a golden, tilted 'C.' A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the sun for a viewer on Earth.
While Chester County and most of the nation experienced a solar eclipse, millions of Americans saw a total solar eclipse that was visible in 14 states -- a path of totality that accounts for about 16 percent of the country, from Oregon to South Carolina. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon's apparent diameter is larger than the sun's, blocking all direct sunlight and turning day into darkness.
The reason for the large crowd at the park was due, in part, to a viewing event created by the Kennett Library. The idea stemmed from an article read by library trustee Dr. Brenda Mercomes, which was then passed to library director Megan Walters.
“I moved here from Boston a few years ago, and still read the Boston Globe online,” Mercomes said. “I read that the Boston Public Library was purchasing eclipse glasses and handing them out on a first-come, first-served basis. I sent the article to Megan, and within the next half hour, she had put the idea into motion.”
As part of the program, the library handed out more than 100 eclipse viewing glasses, but unfortunately did not have enough to accommodate everyone. Anticipating a large turnout, the library staff created pinhole cameras, and provided tutorials on how to use them.
For those lucky enough to get eclipse viewing glasses at Anson B. Nixon Park on Monday afternoon, hold on to them. The next total solar eclipse will take place on April 8, 2024, and will be visible across North America.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email


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