Didn’t buy a pair of eclipse glasses in time to see Monday’s eclipse? That wasn’t a problem Monday morning at the Washington State Library in Tumwater.
The library passed out 200 pairs of glasses, some people came prepared with their own, and people were happy to share glasses — and even their telescopes — with those who didn’t have any.
Lara Ramsey, of Olympia, went looking for eclipse glasses at about 9 p.m. Sunday. She posted a notice on her neighborhood’s blog, and someone texted her offering glasses.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Ramsey said.
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She took her children, 5-year-old Justus and 7-year-old Zia, to the library to view the eclipse.
Some viewers, like Marjorie Cariello, showed off their ingenuity with homemade pinhole projectors.
“We ordered our glasses from a science site,” Cariello said. “But we got an email a few days ago saying they were giving a full refund. They didn’t have any more.”
Cariello was in town from New York City, visiting her daughter who lives in Olympia. She was in Portland over the weekend, but opted to come back to Thurston County to view the eclipse.
“Portland was pretty full of people,” Cariello said. “We decided to watch with my daughter’s community.”
The library also offered a more high-tech viewing mechanism. Luke Skywatcher, an 8-inch Newtonian telescope fitted on a Dobsonian base, projected the eclipse onto a white board.
Francisco Velez, a state employee who is studying math and physics at The Evergreen State College, operated the telescope, which belongs to the Evergreen Astronomical Society. He also fielded questions from young scientists, and encouraged them to “just go for it” if they were interested in studying physics or math.
At 10:19 a.m., he directed everyone to look at the sun (with their glasses on) or at the projection. Many people commented on a sudden drop in temperature as the moon slid between the earth and the sun.
“We hit totality,” he said. “This is it. This is the best we’ve got.”