Get Ready for the Solar Eclipse with PLYMC

A total solar eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8, 2024. In Ohio, people will experience a total solar eclipse within a 124-mile-wide band. The total solar eclipse is both wonderful and awe-inspiring. This rare event happens somewhere on the Earth once every year and a half with only 21 total solar eclipses occurring in the entire existence of the United States.

The last solar eclipse that happened in Ohio occurred in 1806 with the next eclipse happening in the year 2099. The path of totality for the solar eclipse this year is about 9,200 miles across the Earth with 2,142 miles (about 3447.21 km) spanning the United States from Texas to Maine.

Mahoning County is near the path of totality with the eclipse beginning about 2 p.m. and finishing by 4:30 p.m. The peak of the eclipse will be near 3:15 p.m. and will last for less than four minutes. Duration and start times will be different depending on where you are located within the Youngstown area.

Solar eclipse glasses, handheld solar viewers, and special solar filters are the only safe way to look at the sun directly during any solar eclipse or viewing of the sun. Eyes must be protected when viewing the sun and you cannot wear regular sunglasses. Solar eclipse glasses are needed to protect your eyes.

If you are viewing an annular or partial eclipse during any phase, it is never safe to view the sun without solar filters. When looking at the sun, it is not safe to use sunglasses or homemade filters.

The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County (PLYMC) has a limited number of solar eclipse glasses available and will be distributing them according to the following plan:

  • At programs about the solar eclipse, while supplies last. A complete list of solar eclipse programs can be found here: Solar Eclipse Programs  
  • Starting March 18, glasses will be available at all Library programs while supplies last.
  • Beginning April 1, each branch will have a limited supply of glasses to distribute on request. Each request will need to be in person and limited to two pairs of glasses.
  • On April 8, the day of the eclipse, each PLYMC location will have a limited supply of glasses to use and share on-site so everyone in the Library can safely view the eclipse.

Facts about the Solar Eclipse

  • A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth.
  • When the moon blocks all of the sun, this is called a total solar eclipse.
  • It will seem dusk or dawn because the sky will become dark during the eclipse.
  • The Sun’s atmosphere will be seen April 8. This is called the solar corona.
  • The Sun is 400,000 times brighter than the corona.
  • Totality is the only time you can take off your eclipse glasses to look at the Sun. Youngstown is not on the path of totality, so it is best to always keep solar eclipse glasses on.