Two libraries team up to host eclipse events in Rolla

Posted by
On February 29, 2024

The community is invited to the Missouri S&T Observatory to view the April 8 solar eclipse. Photo by Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

The Curtis Laws Wilson Library at Missouri S&T and the Rolla Public Library are teaming up to host community events ahead of the solar eclipse this April. All eclipse events are free and open to the public.

Upcoming events include:

  • Open hours at the Missouri S&T Observatory, 7-10 p.m. Friday, March 1, and 8-11 p.m. Friday, March 22.
  • “The Eclipse in Literature,” 6 p.m. Monday, March 4, at the Curtis Laws Wilson Library. Members of Missouri S&T’s English and technical communication faculty will hold a panel presentation on depictions of eclipses in fiction. Refreshments will be provided.
  • Eclipse tote making class, 3 p.m. Friday, March 29, at the Rolla Public Library. Participants will create their own custom tote bag to commemorate the 2024 eclipse.
  • “The Science of the Eclipse,” 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 2, at the Rolla Public Library. Dr. Marco Cavaglia, professor of physics at Missouri S&T, will present a program for children on the science of eclipses.
  • “Solar Eclipse Storytime,” 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at the Rolla Public Library. The eclipse-themed story will be paired with an eclipse activity.
  • Eclipse-themed movie night, 6 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the Rolla Public Library. Snacks and popcorn will be provided.
  • Eclipse viewing for the Rolla community, 12:30-3 p.m. Monday, April 8, in the parking lot next to the Missouri S&T Observatory, located at 1550 N. Bishop Avenue. The moon will begin to move between Earth and the sun at approximately 12:39 p.m. local time, reaching the greatest coverage at 1:57 p.m. and ending at 3:14 p.m. Eclipse glasses will be required to safely observe the sun. A limited number of eclipse glasses will be available at the event.

The eclipse

The eclipse on Monday, April 8, will be the last total solar eclipse visible in Missouri until the year 2505. Only a narrow region, the path of totality, will see a total eclipse. Rolla is approximately 50 miles outside of the path of totality for the eclipse, and will experience a near-total eclipse with the moon covering 98 percent of the sun.

Starting Monday, March 25, both libraries will provide a limited number of free eclipse glasses at events. The glasses are necessary to safely look at the sun during the eclipse on Monday, April 8. The glasses are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through the Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries program and Missouri S&T.

Event organizers

Jackson Loehr, a senior in biological sciences and mechanical engineering from Fenton, Missouri, and president of the S&T Astronomical Research Society, and Ally Hellweg, library assistant at the Rolla Public Library, are participating in NASA’s Eclipse Ambassador Program. The national program provides training and resources for organizers to create fun, educational eclipse events for their communities.

For more information on the planned events and solar eclipses, visit the Curtis Laws Wilson Library LibGuide at For more information on Rolla Public Library events, visit, call 573-364-2604 or email

About Rolla Public Library

Rolla Public Library has over 6,000 registered users from the city of Rolla and Phelps County. They are members of the Missouri Evergreen Consortium linking them to 65 other libraries as well as 4.5 million items in the state. They offer lendable hotspots, Chromebooks and STEAM Kits in addition to print and e-resources. Rolla Public Library is also a part of the MOLib2Go Consortium which provides library members access to thousands of e-books and audiobooks through the Libby app. Membership is free for Rolla city residents and $20 annually for non-residents.

About the Curtis Laws Wilson Library

The Curtis Laws Wilson Library is located on the Missouri S&T campus at 400 W. 14th St. in Rolla. Dedicated in 1968, the library is named in honor of Curtis Laws Wilson, who served as dean of the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, now known as Missouri S&T, from 1941 to 1963. Learn more about the library at

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students located in Rolla, Missouri. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System, Missouri S&T offers over 100 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top public universities for salary impact, according to the Wall Street Journal. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit

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On February 29, 2024.

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