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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Prepare for the eclipse

A partial solar eclipse will be visible in Fairfax County on Aug. 21 beginning at 1:17 p.m., peaking at 2:42 p.m., and ending at 4:01 p.m.

Although we are about 500 miles from the zone of totality (stretching from Lincoln Beach, Ore., to Charleston, S.C.), our area will experience a partial eclipse as the moon will cover 81 percent of the sun.

It’s the first time a total solar eclipse will be visible in the United States since 1979, when an eclipse passed through the Pacific Northwest. The East Coast was treated to a solar eclipse in 1970.

You’ll need special safety glasses to view the eclipse without damaging your eyes. We heard that Michael’s has bins of them near the cash registers. Visit this page for more safety information.

Hidden Oaks Nature Center has scheduled a couple of eclipse viewing programs but they are filling up fast:

On Sunday, Aug. 13, a naturalist will provide information on how to safely view the eclipse. It’s at 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1-2 p.m. at the nature center, for ages 3 and up. Registration is $7, which includes a pair of solar eclipse viewing glasses.  Call 703-222-4664 or register online (code 308 304 3703).

On Monday, Aug. 21, Hidden Oaks is presenting a program in the pavilion at Annandale Community Park, 12:45-1:45 p.m. Participants will learn how to make and use pinhole viewers and other devices to safely view the eclipse. The program $7, which includes eclipse viewing shades. Call 703-222-4664 or register online (code 308 304 3901).


  1. It'll take more than one eclipse to make up for the hassle of trying to locate eclipse glasses for everyone. They're so elusive you'd think they're made of gold.

  2. My husband and I stumbled across a batch of glasses at a beach supply store last week (the one benefit of having left our beach bag at home!!).

    You would think that opticians/ophthalmologists would have scores of them, yet all we get from our eye doctor are emails promoting the latest styles of frames, etc. Easy to see where his priorities are....