A total solar eclipse is coming! A total solar eclipse is when the moon will cross in front of the sun and cover it for a short time, is. While Flint & Genesee residents and visitors won’t be able to witness a full solar eclipse, we can see a near total solar eclipse on April 8. The eclipse will start for our area at 1:58 p.m. on Monday, April 8, and it will be at around 97% coverage.

If you are planning to head outside to view the eclipse at home or somewhere else on your own, you will need to make sure you have protective eyewear on. There are several places that sell eyewear, there are tutorials that show you how to make a viewing box, or you can purchase eclipse glasses at Longway Planetarium or at some convenience stores.

If you prefer to head somewhere to take in the viewing, these are your options:

Swartz Creek-Perkins Library will invite children of all ages out for Eclipse Fun where they will make sun viewing glasses and other crafts while they check out the eclipse at the library. The Fenton-Winegarden branch of the Genesee District Library will also host the same activities.

Longway Planetarium will be hosting a free viewing event to celebrate this rare occasion. The telescope will help safely see the eclipse and there will be an opportunity to make a viewer while supplies last. There will even be a viewing of NASA’s eclipse stream in the lobby if you want to check that out. If you’d like to watch the special planetarium presentation of “TOTALITY!”, there is a charge for that, but it can only add to the excitement of the day’s events.

Over at For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum they’ll be offering Solar Eclipse Extravaganza! This will teach people about what an eclipse is, give tips on safe viewing, and will have educators on hand to answer any questions you may have. While you are there you can also learn about other events happening in our skies throughout April and May. This event costs $5 per person and is suggested for everyone 10 and up.

However, you are able to take in this rare occasion make certain that you take precautions to view the eclipse safely and have fun!