MacPhaidin Library wants you to enjoy the April 8 Solar Eclipse – Safely 

On Monday, April 8, a total solar eclipse will sweep across North America, and we here at the MacPhaidin Library want you all to enjoy this celestial spectacle safely and with a clear understanding of what you are going to witness. On Wednesday, April 3 at 4 p.m. the library hosts physics and astronomy Prof. Francesca Fornasini . She will discuss the eclipse and then lead attendees outside for celestial viewing to prepare for the following Monday. All who attend will receive a free pair of sunoculars which allow for safe viewing of the eclipse and prevent eye damage. Following her talk, additional sunoculars will be available at The Desk while supplies last. 

On the day of the eclipse, the quad in front of MacPhaidin library might be one of the prime spots to view the eclipse, according to Professor Fornasini. While Easton, Massachusetts is not located in the eclipse’s path of totality - the relatively narrow swath where the sun will be fully obscured by the moon - Prof. Fornasini believes Stonehill community members can still see something spectacular.  “Even if you are not able to travel to the path of totality and remain in Easton, make sure to step outside while the eclipse is happening and you’ll notice many unique effects including a general dimming of light, sharper shadows, and crescent shadows being visible through tree branches and leaves," Prof Fornasini said. 

In Easton, the solar eclipse will begin around 2:15 PM on April 8, reach maximum coverage of 90 percent of the Sun’s surface around 3:30 PM, and end around 4:40 PM. Prof. Fornasini suggests Stonehill’s athletic fields, in addition to the quad, might be good spots to view the eclipse as all those locations can provide students a clear view of the sun at around 3 PM. 

A.P.E Society Glasses and Events  

Professor Fornasini says that the Astronomy, Physics, and Engineering Society (A.P.E. Society) is planning events the week before the solar eclipse on campus for students who are interested in learning more about eclipses. More information will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks. If you are interested in learning more, please email Professor Fornasini at


This afternoon, a solar eclipse will occur in our area between 2 p.m. and 4:30 pm.  To ensure that you enjoy this unique phenomenon, the Office of Health Services strongly recommends that no one look directly up at the sun during this time without the use of properly certified safety glasses called sunoculars. Regular sun glasses will not protect your eyes. The MacPhaidin Library has unfortunately run out of sunoculars. 

Eclipses emit harmful ultraviolet rays that can permanently damage eyesight. Ocular damage can happen within seconds coupled with the fact that there are no pain receptors in the retina - you wouldn't know there is any damage until it's already happened.

To learn more about the effects of the eclipse on your eyes, please refer to this article from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. 


This might be a rare chance 

If your class schedule permits, try to catch a glimpse of the total eclipse, or else you will be waiting a while for the next one. Prior to April, the last total solar eclipse seen by millions of people in the United States was on August 21st, 2017. The next total solar eclipse that can be seen from the contiguous United States will be August 2044 and that will be most visible in parts of North Dakota, Montana, and Washington. 


Resources from the MacPhaidin Library Collection 

Online Resources 

  • 2024 Total Eclipse - NASA Science - NASA’s site describes the progression of the eclipse across the United States and provides information about viewing the eclipse safely.
  • Solar Eclipse Across America – This site, from the American Astronomical Society, serves a clearinghouse for information about the eclipse and provides links to a host of other websites that focus on the April 8 eclipse.
  • The Planetary Society – This site offers visitors the chance to type in their street address and receive detailed information – expected percentage of the sun that will be obscured by the moon, direction of the sun in the sky and what phenomena you might witness, such as animals confused by the darkness or visible stars. 

By Julia Marchak ‘24