Arlington, VA

Around 2:40 p.m. this afternoon, workers and residents around Arlington flocked to rooftops and sidewalks as the sky darkened and a rare solar eclipse swept through the area.

Those with protective eclipse viewing glasses were able to safely watch as the moon hid just over 80 percent of the sun.

While some watched on TV or streaming video, plenty of our readers were outside to capture the moment. Even some clouds floating around could not spoil the view.

We compiled photos of the eclipse in Arlington as shared on Twitter, below. Did you take any photos around Arlington during the eclipse? Show them off in the comments.

And some good news: there were no emergency calls in Arlington reporting eye issues from looking directly at the eclipse, based on scanner traffic this afternoon.

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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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Wellness Matters banner

The following weekly column is written and sponsored by Virginia Hospital Center, a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and one of America’s 100 Top Hospitals for the third year in a row.

After a long, cold winter, the summer sun is a welcome relief. But beware! Overdoing it can lead to trouble.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays damage the skin, weakening its natural barrier and raising your risk of sunburn, premature aging and skin cancer. Too much fun in the sun can also cause eye problems, such as cataracts or macular degeneration. Exposure adds up – the more time you spend outside, the greater your chance of problems down the road.

At Virginia Hospital Center, we recommend the following tips to stay safe in the sun:

  • Sunscreen offers good protection against UV rays. Use a product with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Apply it 20 minutes before going outside. Reapply after swimming or other vigorous activity.
  • UV rays can penetrate the clouds, so be sure to use sunscreen whenever you go outside.
  • Wear clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating. UPF garments disrupt UV radiation and provide built-in sun protection that won’t wear off. The higher the rating, the higher the protection from UV rays.
  • Don’t forget your eyes! Wear polarized sunglasses that block between 95 percent and 100 percent of UV rays.
  • Wear a hat. Hats with a two- to three-inch brim are ideal because they protect areas often exposed to intense sun, such as ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. They emit UV rays that can damage your skin and raise your cancer risk.

When to See a Doctor

According to the American Cancer Society, more than one million skin cancers are found each year in the United States. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and rates have doubled in the last 30 years. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are also on the rise. Ozone depletion allows more UV rays to penetrate the atmosphere, so the sun’s effects are much stronger today than even a decade ago.

The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change to your skin. If you notice a spot or lump that is growing, bleeding, constantly itching or otherwise changing, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist. When caught and treated early, most skin cancers are curable.

Damage Control

Sun damage is often invisible to the naked eye. But just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Virginia Hospital Center Health Promotion Department offers DermaScan™, a fast, easy way to assess potential or existing problems. This non-invasive scanning device features a black light that illuminates your head and neck to reveal what’s really going on beneath the skin’s surface. Schedule your one-on-one screening today: 703.558.6740.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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A rare solar event is taking place on Tuesday, June 5. The Transit of Venus will be visible throughout Arlington around the time of the evening rush hour tomorrow.

During the event, Venus passes between Earth and the sun, making the planet look like a dark dot on the sun. It’s one of the rarest predictable astronomical phenomena. The passing should last for about six hours, but will be visible at different times around the world. According to the Transit of Venus website, Arlington residents should be able to see the transit starting at 6:04 p.m.

Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium will hold a viewing at the top of the Kettler Iceplex (627 N. Glebe Road, #800), starting at 5:45 p.m. Displays, telescopes and safety glasses for viewing the transit will be available at the free event.

The National Science Foundation is also sponsoring a free Transit of Venus event. A lecture by Dr. Larry Marschall, Professor of Physics at Gettysburg College, will take place from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in the National Science Foundation (4201 Wilson Blvd) atrium. He will use pictures, movies and stories to describe the significance of the event. There will also be a telescope set up outside the north entrance to observe the transit, around 6:15 p.m.

If you want to watch the transit but can’t make it to one of the viewing events, be sure to take measures to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. The Transit of Venus website lists some safe ways to view the passing, and specifically says looking at the sun through common sunglasses is not safe enough. Slooh, an online space camera, will also provide a live feed of the event that is safe to watch, starting at 6:00 p.m.

This will likely be your only chance to see the Transit of Venus, because the next one doesn’t happen until December 2117. The last one occurred on June 8, 2004. The events take place in a paired pattern, with transits eight years apart, then more than 100 years apart.

Photo via Wikipedia

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