The party will be in Prete Main Street Plaza, noon to 2 p.m., while the moon’s shadow moves across our area. Join us for as much of the event as you’d like.
We know you’ll be talking about this event long into the future, and we’d love to experience it as a community.
We’ll have a variety of activities to share to increase your enjoyment of the event, including science and art fun, splashing in the fountains, and enjoying Flavorlicious Shave Ice. We’ll be able to observe the eclipse in a variety of ways, including with safety glasses provided by the Space Science Institute and through solar viewing telescopes provided by the Williamson County Astronomy Club.
500 pairs of certified safe solar viewing glasses will be available for participants, beginning at noon. We anticipate large crowds, and will expect families and small groups to share glasses. **NEVER look directly at the sun without proper viewing equipment.**
We’ll have materials available to make pinhole projectors, but it might be fun to make your own in advance. Here are instructions to make some popular safe viewers:
- Five easy eclipse viewers
- Several simple viewers from Engineering! Go For It!
- Build a retro box viewer
About the eclipse
During the eclipse, the moon will pass directly between the Earth and the sun, casting the Moon’s shadow on the continental U.S. from coast to coast for more than 90 minutes. This is the first total solar eclipse visible over the US since 1981 and the first since 1918 to be seen coast to coast.
The effects of the eclipse will be visible from approximately 11:45 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. At the eclipse’s peak, Round Rock will experience approximately 65% coverage of the sun. The peak will occur at approximately 1:10 p.m.
What to bring
Of course, you can see the eclipse any where you have sunny skies above. If you’d like to join our event, remember that it spans the lunch hour on an August day. In addition to any safe solar glasses you may already have, and any pinhole viewers you have made, please consider bringing:
- Drinks in unbreakable containers, especially ones you can refill;
- Comfort items for the time you’ll be spending outside–perhaps a chair for sitting and an umbrella for shade;
- Snacks or a picnic lunch;
- Clothes and shoes that can get wet (if you’re planning on cooling off by playing in the Prete Plaza Fountains);
- And your sense of wonder, a spirit of adventure, and a big heart for our wonderful community.
Restrooms and water fountains will be available in the Library and in the City Hall Business Office. If you’ve been playing in the fountains and your clothes are too wet to go inside the Library or Business Office, there are portapotties at Prete Plaza.
The Library will have NASA’s live-stream of the eclipse on a large TV in its nicely air-conditioned Gallery.
Interest in this event is high, and may translate into large crowds. Please plan on extra time to park and walk to the area, or consider carpooling.
By happy coincidence, the City’s new transit service begins Monday, Aug. 21. North/South routes have a stop in downtown, while East/West routes have a stop at the transit center three blocks from Prete Plaza. If you’d like to try this new service, see www.roundrocktransit.com for routes and schedules. During this first week of service, bus rides are free.
Want to help?
If you have resources or expertise you’d like to share at this event, please contact Andrea Warkentin, 512-218-7011.