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A total eclipse image taken in 2017 in Madras, Ore.

Eclipse Will Darken the Skies on Monday

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshires won't see a full eclipse on Monday as we're south and east of the path of totality, but we should see about 94 to 96 percent of it. 
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration says North Berkshire will be at the highest at 96.3 percent of totality at 3:26 p.m. on Monday. 
People along the path of totality will be able to the Sun's corona, or outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured.
The eclipse will begin about 2:13 and end at 4:37 p.m. During this time, the sky will darken and will be noticeable even if there is cloud coverage. 
How much cloud coverage the Berkshires will have is up in the air — the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., is predicting from 70 to 90 percent but Accuweather says it will be low to moderate cloud and "fine viewing" for much of New England. Temperatures should be in the low 50s. 
You should never look at an eclipse without special filters. Eclipse glasses should be available at local pharmacies and certain retailers. A number of posts on Facebook say they can be found at Walmart, Cumberland Farms and Home Depot. 
NASA reminds everyone that severe eye injury can occur by looking at any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter (not eclipse glasses) secured over the front of the optics. Sunglasses also are not a replacement for eclipse glasses. More information here
Astronomers are suggesting you wear red or green, or have a red or green object nearby, to experience the Purkinje Effect on color. 
The next solar eclipse visible from this region won't be for another 55 years, in 2079.
There are a few eclipse-watching parties around the county starting at 2 p.m.
North Adams Public Library is hosting the Northern Berkshire Astronomical Society for a public viewing party. There will be a solar filter-equipped telescope set up for viewing and a limited supply of solar eclipse glasses. Runs from 2 to 4:30.
• A viewing party will set up at the Common in Pittsfield.
• Amateur astronomer Rick Costello will have four telescopes with solar filters  at the Mason Library in Great Barrington. The library will have a limited number of eclipse glasses on a first-come-first-served basis.
• Williams College will project a livestream from the path of totality at Hopkins Observatory from 2 to 5 p.m. and will have telescopes available for viewing the eclipse on the lawn outside of the observatory. A limited number of eclipse glasses will also be available.
A "lights-out" event will run from 10 to 10:30 p.m. in the science quad so everyone can view the night sky unaffected by light pollution. Join us to enjoy the night sky, including through a couple of our telescopes. Both events are free and open to the public and telescope viewing dependent on weather. 
• The Mount Greylock State Reservation hosts a viewing at the Visitors Center on Rockwell Road in Lanesborough. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and dress warm. Eclipse glasses available while supplies last. 
• Stephentown (N.Y.) Memorial Library; limited number of glasses available.  
• UCP of Western Massachusetts hosts a "sound for all" hearing of the eclipse at its offices at the Clock Tower Building in Pittsfield. The LightSound device allows people with all levels of sight to experience the eclipse aurally. 
The device was developed for the 2017 eclipse to aid people who are blind or have low vision experience the astronomical event. It activates sound in relation to the level of light. A hearing is being hosted over Zoom from 2 to 4

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North Adams High School Athletes Place Flags on Veterans Graves

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Raegan Keil, daughter of VSO Mitchell Keil, participates in placing the American Flag on veterans' graves. The first flag she placed was in the marker of Michael Kline, her grandfather.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Athletes from Drury High School and McCann Technical School gave up the rare free Saturday morning to place flags on veterans graves in Southview Cemetery.
"I was very humbled when I saw the cars coming in, and I actually had to go over to the corner and put my sunglasses down and hide my tears, because it was very, very humbling to see everybody show up," said Travys Rivers, the city's veterans grave officer.
Rivers, a firefighter and veteran, said he sent out the "bat signal" and called John Moore of Drury and Robin Finnegan of McCann to see if any of the sports teams were free.
River said he was unsure what to expect, knowing many student athletes likely had games or practice. But come Saturday morning, around 100 students showed up with coaches and high school athletics administration. 
"I am amazed by these kids. They gave up a Saturday morning. They could have slept in if they didn't have practice or whatever," Rivers said. "They did not have to do this but instead came down and busted their butts."
Northern Berkshire Veterans Service Officer Mitchell Keil added that he often hears that the youth do not participate in civic activities. He said Saturday proves the opposite.
"As a veteran, it is heartwarming to see this type of participation from today's youth and encouraging for the future of the community. They may not understand the impact their involvement has on those that see them in action or those family members that visit a departed loved one's grave and see them continuously honored," he said. "Our city has a large group of individuals that are dedicated to honoring those veterans that have passed. This long tradition is in good hands, and as we move forward I encourage all to take part in the pursuit of honoring our veterans daily."
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