On August 21, 2017 – for the first time in nearly a century, a total solar eclipse will cross the United States. In Maryland we have prime viewing areas for this once-in-a-lifetime event. Make your plans to witness 80 percent of the sun covered during the eclipse. On the East Coast, the eclipse will start shortly after 1:00 p.m. and reach totality just before 3:00 p.m.
Remember, you will need solar glasses or a filter to safely view the eclipse; never look directly at the sun without a filter as it can cause damage to your eyes. For more information on how to safely view the eclipse, visit NASA’s eclipse safety page.
Here are a few places that will be hosting special eclipse viewing events:
Maryland Science Center
The Maryland Science Center’s Observatory is hosting a watch party from 12:00 p.m .to 4:00 p.m. on August 21st. With paid admission to the center, eclipse watchers will have access to safe viewing and sun-themed activities.
Join fellow eclipse watchers at Port Discovery on Solar Eclipse Day to prepare for this rare astronomical event before it takes place. Learn the science behind this exciting natural phenomenon, create solar eclipse art, and join in celestial activities.
Assateague Visitor Center
If you happen to be down at the beach, you can join other astromy-lovers at the Assateague Visitor Center for this once-in-a-lifetime event which also happens to be an official NASA Satellite viewing location.
Arbutus Public Library
Enjoy arts, crafts, and demonstrations along with the first solar eclipse since 1979 at the Arbutus Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library system.
Popscope Viewing — 2024 E. Monument St.,
2 p.m.-3 p.m., free, twitter.com/bmorepopscope. Popscope, an organization that helps facilitate public astronomy, will be setting up a telescope with a solar filter on Monument Street. Anyone is welcome to come and take a look at the eclipse up close. Popscope has a limited supply of solar glasses.
Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum
300 Oella Ave., Catonsville. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. At the park and museum named for the man who correctly predicted the 1789 eclipse, visitors can make a homemade shoebox viewer, peek through a telescope with a solar filter and borrow glasses to witness the eclipse safely.
Even a short glance at the sun without special eyewear can cause permanent damage! You won’t feel it at the time, but the damage will be done without you knowing it until hours later.
Photo above shows what 80 percent of the eclipse looks like, which is what we will see in Baltimore.