Where and when to watch Monday's eclipse

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BENNINGTON — All over the country, people are flocking to areas where they'll be able to see Monday's total solar eclipse, the first to cross over the continental United States since 1979.

Unfortunately, the totality will not be visible in Bennington, but several local organizations are planning viewing events for the partial eclipse.

According to data available on NASA's website, the eclipse will begin at about 1:23 p.m., maximum eclipse, which will about about 64.6 percent obscuration, will occur just over an hour later at 2:43 p.m. The partial eclipse will be over by 3:57 p.m. The National Weather Service in Albany is predicting sunny weather for the Bennington area on Monday.

The John G. McCullough Library in North Bennington is hosting a viewing party in its backyard. They will be handing out NASA-certified safe viewing glasses, but will only have a few hundred pairs available. With attendance expected to exceed the number of glasses they have to hand out, be sure to get there close to when they begin passing them out at noon. There will be materials on-hand for making pinhole eclipse viewers as well. After the eclipse, the library will be hosting demonstrations and activities for children. All of the events are free and open to the public.

The Southern Vermont Natural History Museum on Hogback Mountain in West Marlboro is also hosting a viewing party. There will be some viewing glasses available to share, but viewers are encouraged to bring their own. Museum staff will be on hand to talk astronomy, and the Hogback Mountain Gift Shop will provide a free soft serve ice cream to everyone who attends.

The Manchester Community Library has been giving free solar glasses and mini moon pies to library members at the library's help desk since August 7. The glasses are limited to one per library member, ages six and up, while supplies last.

The Bennington Free Library plans to host a live-stream of NASA's footage of the totality in the upstairs Rotary Room. Admission is free.

Looking directly at the eclipse is unsafe except during totality — which will not occur in Bennington. Do not look directly at the sun during the partial eclipse without eclipse glasses or handheld solar filters.

The last total eclipse to be visible from the continental U.S. occurred on Feb. 26, 1979, over parts of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, but the weather was stormy and the eclipse was not visible. Prior to that, on March 7, 1970, a total eclipse was visible from Florida to Virginia, with 90 percent totality visible in New York and Boston. The last eclipse in which totality was visible in Vermont was Aug. 31, 1932, although the direct path missed Bennington.

Reach staff writer Derek Carson at 802-447-7567, ext. 122 or @DerekCarsonBB

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