The August 21 eclipse will be the first time an eclipse will be visible in the United States since 1918. If you have the day free, check out a viewing party!On the afternoon of August 21, Marylanders will have the chance to see something they probably never have seen: a solar eclipse. The path for a total eclipse spans 14 states, while a partial eclipse will be visible in other states. Maryland is one of the states with a partial view of the eclipse; those interested in attending a viewing party or elsewhere will be able to witness 80 percent of a total eclipse. The eclipse will start just after 1 p.m. and peak around 3 p.m. If you are one of the many who want to watch the eclipse, you should make sure that you have eye protection such as solar glasses or a filter as looking directly at the sun can be harmful to your eyes.
Maryland Science CenterIn Maryland, and in other parts of the country, quite a few different places are ideal for viewing the eclipse. The best place to go watch the eclipse is the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore. The Science Center’s Observatory has plans to hold a viewing party on August 21, from noon until 4 p.m. The viewing party is free if you have paid admission to the science center, and takes place on the center’s rooftop. There are fun sun-themed activities that await you!
Calvert Library in Prince FrederickThe Calvert Library's viewing party which will last from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Calvert Library has promised fun and educational viewing for all ages. The library will also provide protective “eclipse glasses” on a first-come, first-serve basis so anyone interested should be sure to arrive early.
Black Hill Nature Programs of Montgomery CountyBlack Hill Nature Programs of Montgomery County has also planned a viewing party for all ages. Black Hill will have eclipse glasses available as well as other viewing activities. Reservations are not necessary, and the event is free.
James E. Richmond Science CenterIn Southern Maryland, the James E. Richmond Science Center of Waldorf will be having a viewing party, free of charge. The event takes place in the Science Center Parking Lot, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. The Science Center will have limited quantities of glasses for sale ($1), as well as food and drinking vending.
If you are unsure of the best place to go or would rather find a viewing event closer to home, you may want to see what your county parks and libraries have planned. Montgomery County Libraries alone has seven events planned, all of which are free to attend. In Prince Georges County, events are planned at 10 different county libraries, including Glenarden, Bowie, South Bowie, Laurel, Largo-Kettering, Hillcrest Heights, among others. At each of the P.G. county locations, library patrons will receive a free pair of eclipse glasses and many locations will be providing educational programming and entertainment during the festivities. If you decide to watch the eclipse on your own or with friends who are not scientists, be sure to read NASA’s safety guide. Will you be watching the solar eclipse on August 21? Let us know in the comments below!