SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Monday's historic solar eclipse has generated excitement and curiosity in Santa Maria where the cosmic event is seen as a unique educational opportunity for all ages.
They came in large number to the Santa Maria Public Library to learn more about solar eclipses.
Library Youth Services and Reference Services Staff gave a presentation about exactly what happens during a solar eclipse and other facts about the phenomenon.
"We wanted to sort of capitalize on that, when we first decided to do the program there weren't a lot of people talking about doing something for the community that involved the solar eclipse", said Dawn Jackson with the Santa Maria Public Library, "we really wanted to be at the forefront there in getting people information about it."
Those lucky enough to get a seat also got a free, protective "solar viewer" to wear for the big event and learned how to make a safe viewer at home.
They are hoping for a chance to actually see the solar eclipse despite the possibility of morning cloud cover over the Santa Maria Valley.
"That's something that nobody can control unfortunately", Jackson said, "we've heard varying reports about whether we'll be able to view it or not, but we certainly hope that people will be able to view it, if not by coming here they definitely will have learned a lot more about solar eclipses."
Materials and support for the free event at the library were provided by NASA's Digital Learning Network and Friends of the Library.