FROM THE MAGAZINE SHELF is an occasional feature of the FOUNTAINDALE LIBRARY REFERENCE BLOG. Postings will highlight titles that you might find of interest, but haven’t picked up to read and explore. In addition to the titles that are in the Magazine Area on the 2nd Floor of our library, postings will also include titles from RBdigital Magazines, formerly Zinio, the library’s digital magazine collection.

I was paging through the August 2017 issue of SKY & TELESCOPE magazine earlier this month and was intrigued by the mention of a new stamp, about the solar eclipse, that was issued on June 20, 2017 by the United States Postal Service. According to the USPS, “On August 21, 2017, tens of millions of people in the United States will have an opportunity to view a total eclipse of the Sun. A total solar eclipse was last seen on the U.S. mainland in 1979, but only in the Northwest. The eclipse this summer will sweep a narrow path across the entire country—the first time this has happened since 1918. The U.S. Postal Service® anticipates this rare event with a stamp celebrating the majesty of solar eclipses.”  The features about the stamp that I found so interesting were explained on the USPS website, on the page that talked about the Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever Stamp: and the unique use of thermochromic ink in the stamp’s printing. According to the USPS, the ink “reacts to the heat of your touch. Placing your finger over the black disc on the stamp causes the ink to change from black to clear to reveal an underlying image of the moon. The image reverts back to the black disc once it cools. The back of the stamp pane shows a map of the eclipse path.”

That was really AMAZING…and yet another reason to have a look at this magazine, especially since we are now less than four weeks until this rare astronomical event can be experienced!

SKY & TELESCOPE has been published since 1941 and is written in a style that has appeal to both amateur and professional astronomers. Among the types of things this monthly publication covers are: current happenings in astronomy and space exploration, events in the amateur astronomy community, reviews of astronomical equipment, books and computer software, amateur telescope making, and astrophotography.

The August 2017 issue features several key articles related to photographing the August eclipse that the magazine is billing as “Shadow, Camera, Action!” There’s a really useful article by Dennis di Cicco titled “How to Shoot a Solar Eclipse.” There’s also an interesting “Eclipse Megamovie Project” planned. The Project “hopes to enlist more than 1,000 volunteers, each armed with a digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs), telephoto lenses, and tripods” to help unravel a number of scientific mysteries. “The project will stitch together a near-continuous view of totality as the eclipse crosses the country from northwest to southeast.”

You’ll probably also want to have a look at SKY & TELESCOPE‘s ONLINE 2017 ECLIPSE GUIDE. Among the helpful resources you’ll find are:

  • Watch the solar eclipse safely
  • Plan for the eclipse with maps, timing information, and weather forecasts
  • Find eclipse day events and places to stay

So, if you want to be an informed and safe viewer of the eclipse on August 21, you will certainly want to have a look at the August 2017 issue of  SKY & TELESCOPE. You may find it in our Magazines and Newspapers area of our library, on the 2nd Floor.

Astronomy magazine has been publishing since August 1973. The monthly publication is aimed at amateur astronomers. Articles cover sky event viewing, observation techniques, astrophotography, and astrophysics.   Our library has Astronomy magazine available both in hard copy print format, on the 2nd Floor of the library, in the Magazines and Newspapers area, and in digital format  through our  RBdigital Magazines  digital magazine collection.

The August 2017 issue is devoted primarily to the upcoming eclipse, as can be seen from the CONTENTS page in that issue.

If you’re thinking of viewing this rare event, I highly recommend you read the August 2017 issue.


Astronomy magazine has also placed a wealth of information on their website, Once at their website, there is a link to click on near the top, left portion of the homepage that says NOW ONLINE Get ready for the 2017 eclipse. This link will take you to a treasure trove of information on the Great American Eclipse 2017.

Some of my favorites there are:


If you are the least bit interested in safely viewing and participating in the this event, you owe it to yourself to spend some time with Astronomy magazine.

The countdown is on to the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse. Be sure to visit the Fountaindale Public Library’s Solar Eclipse web page for information on what’s happening at our library.

Photographing the Eclipse
Thursday, August 10, 6 p.m.
Learn the secrets to safely take photos of this the solar eclipse. Space is limited; register now to save your seat.

Solar Eclipse Glasses Giveaway
Saturday, August 19–Monday, August 21

Safely view this exciting event with a free pair of solar eclipse glasses. Stop by any service desk or the Bookmobile to get your pair, while supplies last. No registration required.

Eclipse Photography Day
Monday, August 21, 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.

Join us to witness the solar eclipse and photograph the progress (weather permitting). Please meet in Studio 300. Drop in; no registration required.

So, get yourself ready to view and photograph this event because you won’t see the likes of it for quite a while!

-Tom D.

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