Solar Eclipse: Lebo Style

The crowd gathered at the eclipse watch party outside Mt. Lebanon Public Library.

It was a celestial event years in the making! Now, the 2024 total solar eclipse is one for the history books.

To mark the occasion, The Citizen Science Lab and Mt. Lebanon Public Library teamed up to host an eclipse watch party in the library parking lot on Castle Shannon Boulevard. Cheers could be heard from the large crowd when Mt. Lebanon hit 97% totality at 3:17 p.m. Even the street lights on Washington Road came on for a brief time.

Connie Mathews, senior children’s librarian, remembers sharing the communal experience during the library’s 2017 eclipse party. Another party was held today “so that we can bring the public together to celebrate this historic momentous event,” she said.

“The solar eclipse is a very exciting time, not just for people in the science community, but for everyone. Everyone is excited about what’s happening in the sky,” said Nicole Saltzman, lead instructor for The Citizen Science Lab, which offers after-school STEM enrichments at Mt. Lebanon Library.

April Reicherter, Brafferton Drive, brought her three boys Robert, 6, Andrew, 4, and Joseph, 2, to enjoy the free space-themed activities, crafts and experiments. “They love science and they love space so I thought it was a great opportunity for them and we love the library, too,” she said.

Robert Reicherter, 6, and his brother Andrew, 4, explore how Oreo cookies can demonstrate what happens during an eclipse.

Mt. Lebanon resident Kathleen Slaysman and her friends enjoyed seeing the children’s reaction as the sun slowly started to disappear. “Their excitement is just overwhelming,” she said.

You may need to hang on to those eclipse glasses for a while. The next total solar eclipse in North America won’t occur until August 23, 2044.

Ginger Brown, Bethel Park, Nancy Camino, Castle Shannon, Erica Brueggemann, Mt. Lebanon and Kathleen Slaysman, Mt. Lebanon view the solar eclipse through special glasses.