Experience the 2017 Great American Eclipse in Northern Virginia with special events and programs during the afternoon of August 21st. For the first time in over a century a partial solar eclipse will be visible over the entire United States. Some lucky areas will experience a total eclipse, but coverage will only reach 80% in the Washington DC area. If the weather cooperates, we should still have an interesting view from Northern Virginia, with maximum coverage occurring at 2:42 pm.
Here is the projected eclipse timeline for Northern Virginia, according to Fairfax County Park Authority:
- 1:16 p.m. – Sun’s appearance will begin to change
2:42 p.m. – Maximum eclipse in Fairfax, VA (80 percent of sun will be covered)
4:01 p.m. – End of eclipse
NASA and eye specialists emphasize that severe eye damage can result from looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse. ALWAYS use eye protection to view the eclipse!
The Smithsonian Air and Space Udavr-Hazy Center in Chantilly will have eclipse viewing events from 11:00 – 4:00. They have a limited supply of eclipse viewing glasses available and will be handing them out beginning at 10:00 AM. Admission is free, but parking is $15.
Green Spring Gardens is also hosting eclipse-related activities from 1:30 to 3:30. They will hand out eclipse viewing glasses while supplies last.
Even though we aren’t in the path for a full eclipse, we can all help NASA collect local weather observations during the big event. NASA is asking eclipse enthusiasts across the country to help them gather data with the GLOBE app.
Here are some of the special events where you can learn about and watch the Great American Eclipse in Northern Virginia. Follow the links for details on fees and reservation requirements.
Fairfax County Park Events 2017 Great American Eclipse
All events listed below will be held on August 20th and all require registration.
Safely See the Great American Eclipse: Learn about how to safely watch the eclipse and receive a free pair of solar viewing shades. Hidden Oaks and Cub Run Rec Center, 1:00.
Solar Eclipse at Lakefront Parks: Come out to the lakefronts to get one of the best views of the solar eclipse. This program will provide you with a rare opportunity to learn and safely experience the eclipse. Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, 12:30.
Solar Eclipse Festival: Celebrate and safely view the solar eclipse; enjoy storytelling and crafts; and receive a free pair of solar viewing shades. Historic Huntley, 2:00, registration required.
Solar Eclipse Boat Tour: Get a great view of the solar eclipse from the middle of a lake on a tour boat or from the lakefront. Participants will receive a free pair of solar viewing shades. Burke Lake and Lake Accotink, 1:30.
While many of these programs will sell out, you can still view the 2017 Great American Eclipse from Fairfax County Parks. Arrive early to park and find a good viewing spot. Be sure to bring your own eye protection for safe eclipse viewing!
Unfortunately, extra visitors to our parks often mean extra trash left behind. Please join Subaru, the US National Parks, and The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in the Zero Landfill initiative. Learn more about #dontfeedthelandfills here.