It’s the first time in 38 years that a total solar eclipse will be visible from the contiguous United States.Rick Fienberg, TravelQuest International and Wilderness Travel
On Monday, August 21, the moon will pass between the Earth and sun, creating a total eclipse that is visible through a huge section of the U.S. Though the Chesapeake Bay region is not in the “path of totality” that runs from Oregon to South Carolina, here in the mid-Atlantic the sun will be blocked at least 80 percent, darkening the sky in the middle of the afternoon.
NASA reminds everyone who plans to watch the eclipse: Do not look directly into the partial eclipse without special-purpose “eclipse glasses.” Regular sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not strong enough to protect your eyes when looking directly into the sun. Click here for more safety tips from NASA.
Several public places around the Bay are offering viewing parties. See our running list below, and if you have one to add to the list, please email it to [email protected].
NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility’s Visitor Center
12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Observers near Wallops Island will see 81.5 percent partial eclipse. The maximum eclipse will occur when the moon covers part of the sun’s disk from this location at approximately 2:46 p.m. As an official NASA viewing location, Wallops Visitor Center will provide free glasses for safe viewing of the eclipse as well as show the NASA TV live broadcast from 1 to 4 p.m. This multi-hour show will feature NASA experts along the path of totality, live feeds from NASA aircraft, balloons, and the International Space Station. The event also will feature solar-themed movies and activities
Maryland Science Center, Baltimore
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Join MSC Staff to safely observe the moon blocking as much as 80% of the sun. Safe viewing options as well as a variety of sun-related activities will take place on the roof. Rooftop access will be available via a timestamped ticket which the Maryland Science Center will provide at no additional cost to admission. For those unable to be on the roof during peak eclipse time, SpaceLink and the Davis Planetarium will show continuous live feeds of the eclipse. Additionally, MSC staff will be on hand in the front Harbor Lobby at 2:30pm to give information about the eclipse and safe viewing instructions to guests. Those guests will then be invited to join MSC staff outside on the Harbor Promenade to practice safe solar viewing techniques as we observe the eclipse overhead.
North Point State Park
Visitors can take a short hike through the Black Marsh Wildlands and stunning views of the eclipse on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Preregistration is required by emailing [email protected].
Historic London Towne, Annapolis
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Bring blankets and chairs and set up in Historic Area to watch this truly historic event! The eclipse will begin around 1:19pm and peak about 2:44pm. The event should last until around 4:02pm. In our area, it will be a partial eclipse. Our Visitor Center and gift shop will be open. Free, donations welcome! Free Registration
Tuckahoe State Park
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The park hosts a free solar eclipse party at the ball field in the Cherry Lane Campground area. The event will include themed crafts, music, snacks and a limited supply of viewing glasses.
Assateague State Park
12:00 p.m. Park officials will hand out viewing glasses and have an exhibit at the “Nature Nook.”
Worcester County Library Branches
12:00 p.m. The Ocean City Library at 10003 Coastal Highway, Ocean City and the Pocomoke Library at 301 Market Street, Pocomoke City. Eclipse-related snacks and crafts and eclipse glasses will be available on a first come, first served basis at both libraries.
Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce
1:30 p.m. 144 East Main St., Salisbury. RVSPs will receive complimentary souvenir safety glasses courtesy of Avery Hall Insurance, but availability is limited and you must RSVP beforehand. Email [email protected] to RSVP.
-Meg Walburn Viviano