Turns out a dragon eating the Sun isn’t so bad after all.
Just a little bit dimmer, a little bit cooler and lots of looking up at the sky as a total eclipse passed over central Arkansas on Monday.
The area we call home, fell into the 90 percent band of the eclipse, with the total eclipse passing several hundred miles to the north and east across Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee after starting on the west coast in Oregon before heading out to the Atlantic at South Carolina.
On Monday, about 20 people gathered on front of Laman Library to observe the eclipse.
It was a mix of all ages as glasses and a special eclipse viewer fashioned from a piece of welding glass sandwiched in between thin sheets of foam, were passed around those.
It was the total eclipse to pass across the continental United States since 1979 even though eclipses happen every couple of years somewhere in the world.
It was the Chinese who believed eclipses were dragons eating the Sun while it was an old Choctaw legend held that a black squirrel caused solar eclipses when it tried to eat the Sun and that the people needed to make noises to scare it off.
That didn’t happen in North Little Rock, as the noise was mostly limited to, “this is so cool.”
A little after 1 p.m. was when the eclipse passed over and the temperature did drop, and the quality of the sunlight changed as it wasn’t quite so bright.
The most noticeable effect was the eclipsed Sun passed through leaves on the trees in front of the library and the shadows formed little half crescents.
Causing one child to say, “they look like mermaid scales.”
Now what to do with those eclipse glasses you spent most of two weeks looking for?
You could hang on to them as another total eclipse will pass over Arkansas on April 8, 2024, with the totality passing over here.
But seven years seems excessive to hang on to a $1 piece of cardboard.
A better idea would be to donate them to the Astronomers Without Border.
Yes, that’s a real thing.
The organization collects old eclipse glasses and distributes them to different parts of the world that have an upcoming event.
Laman Library is collecting them at both locations, 2801 Orange St. and 420 Main St. in North Little Rock, while the Girl Scouts are also collecting them at their office in Little Rock at 11311 Arcade Drive.
The astronomy organization will send what they collect to South America and Asia for the upcoming 2019 eclipse.