As a member of a local astronomy club in the Pacific Northwest, the November meeting of the Rose City Astronomers was quite interesting as the new curator of the Goldendale Observatory came to speak about himself and the upgrades at the observatory. At the meeting, we met some friends from Seattle Astronomy who was talking to author Nancy Coffelt, who wrote the book The Big Eclipse. The review of the meeting can be found here at the Seattle Astronomy website.
The amazing guys at Seattle Astronomy introduced me to Nancy Coffelt, a Portland based writer who wrote a book about the 2017 Eclipse. She provided us a copy of the book, called The Big Eclipse, which is a resource to use to help educate everybody learn about the upcoming event. The target audience of the book is more towards children, but has the content for adults to be able to gain a basic understanding of the eclipse as well.The Big Eclipse is a series of 2 books, both of which are animated. The puzzle book, targeted for children of ages 5-11 has great activities to assist with understanding the event in an interactive method. The book explains what totality and the corona is, as well as why the moon is important in the eclipse process. The puzzles go hand in hand with explaining how to protect ones eyes, the solar eclipse phases, how eclipses work, and then provides great projects for kids to work on. The puzzles are fascinating and are designed to promote intelligence through puzzles such as creating an eclipse creature, creating a myth for the event, and word puzzles.
Some interesting facts that we learned include that some animals will go to sleep and some nocturnal animals might wake up during totality when the sky noticeably darkens.
The Big Eclipse Book opens with animated animals following the path of the eclipse from the shores of Oregon to the coast of South Carolina. This provides a great story and backdrop of the animals following the eclipse across the USA and telling stories and providing information about the event. There is even one pair of glasses on the back page for the viewer to wear during the event. Fun facts about the states in the path of totality, such as it being illegal to tie a giraffe to a light pole in Georgia. These facts make the book very enjoyable to read and an absolute pleasure. Nancy definitely took the time to make sure the details were accurate and detailed. All of the content is understandable, which allows the reader to start a conversation and think about the different aspects of the eclipse.
Other important additions to the book include a glossary to make sure that everybody is on the same page when talking about teels such as the penumbra and prominences. It includes a fun activity of making a pinhole projector, information about how to protect the eyes of observers, how the event effects animals, list of future eclipse dates, eclipse myths, and more. Go ahead and buy the book. You won’t be disappointed. A copy of the book can be purchased from Amazon.
We recommend purchasing the book and supporting the local economy creating awesome science content! Remember to view the sun safely and always wear eye protection.