The skies will darken during the middle of the day all across the country - but not totally over Polk County like in some places not too far north - as a solar eclipse takes place in less than two weeks.
Events are being planned for the upcoming eclipse, set to start around 11:45 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, Aug. 21, and conclude later in the afternoon, with local libraries getting involved in public education and local schools already decid-ing to keep students for a little longer than normal.
Since the eclipse's totality won't be until around 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 21, interim Superintendent Greg Teems said that it's a matter of safety for local students to stay for 30 minutes longer.
He said that the move is two-fold: it provides assurances to parents that students won't be out on the road in buses while drivers might be distracted by the eclipse, and that students will all have the special glasses over their eyes if they are outside during school-based events during the hours while the sun is being blocked out.
"Our biggest concern was that we don't want our kids at home not being supervised and then go out and look up without any protection over their eyes," Teems said.
Teems added that Polk School District has ordered glasses for every student, and teachers will be adapting their lesson plans around the eclipse accordingly.
Local youth will have no issue with getting instruction dur-ing the eclipse, but what about adults unaware of what to do during the event?
Both the Cedartown and Rockmart libraries are taking up that task, but will have a limited number of glasses they'll be handing out for local residents during special viewing events at both locations.
Cedartown's library on East Avenue will hold a class on the eclipse at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19 and will have a limited supply of glasses on hand free for the public. They'll also be holding a viewing event the following Monday during the day, with a broadcast of NASA's livestream of the eclipse available as the eclipse begins in the library's meeting room.
Outdoor events are also included, according to the library's Allison Robinson.
Rockmart's eclipse event at the library will also start with the livestream on Monday, Aug. 21. They'll have a limited number of glasses to hand out as well, said branch manager Sharon Cleveland.
The large screen viewing of NASA's coverage will conclude later in the afternoon.
Special glasses required for viewing the solar eclipse, even in it's partial pass over Polk County. Severe damage to the eyes will result in anyone who looks at the eclipse without special glasses, which can be purchased affordably at a num-ber of locations around the county.
The local area is slightly too far south for it to be viewed as a total solar eclipse, but the entire path of the eclipse will cross the North American continent.
It's the first time since 1979 the United States has experi-enced a total solar eclipse. The closest location for viewing the total solar eclipse to Polk County will be in Southeast Tennessee or Northeast Georgia.