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County Prepares For Monday’s Solar Eclipse

by Chris Teale August 19, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

With a rare solar eclipse set for Monday afternoon, Arlington is preparing for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The moon is set to pass in front of the sun at around 1:17 p.m. Monday. Its peak is projected to be at 2:42 p.m., when 80 percent of the sun will be hidden, while the eclipse is expected to end at 4:01 p.m.

On Monday morning, ambassadors from the Rosslyn Business Improvement District will be at the Rosslyn Metro station handing out 200 pairs of free eclipse glasses while stocks last.

From 8:15 a.m. onwards, anyone wanting to pick up a pair needs to show that they “like” the Rosslyn BID’s page on Facebook from their smartphone.

The Connection pop-up library in Crystal City (2100 Crystal Drive in the Crystal City Shops) gave out hundreds of free glasses with which to watch the eclipse, supplied by PBS. The free glasses proved to be popular and the supply quickly ran out.

Clarendon restaurant Don Tito will host its rooftop eclipse viewing party from noon onwards on Monday, with the event now sold out. The watering hole at 3165 Wilson Blvd will offer what it described as “eclipse-inspired refreshments” and taco specials for the occasion.

And for anyone hoping to watch the eclipse, the county’s Public Health Division has some advice to avoid spectators’ eyes being permanently burned by part of the sun’s light:

  • At no point in the Washington, DC area will anyone be able to safely view the eclipse without using special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse sunglasses or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones- – are NOT safe for looking at the sun.
  • Looking at the sun without eclipse glasses or solar viewers can permanently burn the retina of the eye. The retina is the inside back layer of your eye which converts light into pictures that your brain uses to interpret what is going on around you.
  • An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed Sun is pinhole projection. NASA offers a guide for making your own pinhole projector.
  • As always, children should always be supervised when using solar filters and pinhole projectors.
  • A solar eclipse is one of nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy this incredible event now and have great memories for years to come.
  • For further recommendations on how to safely enjoy the solar eclipse, go to:
  • For reputable vendors of solar filters and viewers, the American Astronomical Society has a list of reputable vendors at https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters.

Courtesy photo

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