Have you prepared for the Solar Eclipse happening on Monday, August 21? If you’re like us, you knew the solar eclipse was coming and had full intention of watching, but procrastinated a bit to get the glasses. We spent last weekend running around Salisbury, desperately trying to find a pair after seeing that affordable online options were depleted.
After going to a few stores that were already sold out, we considered searching for #14 welding goggles. Note that to safely use welding glasses to view the eclipse, the glass must be #14 or darker. Again this option proved to be expensive, and difficult to find without buying a full welding mask. The shopping day ended with us feeling down, kicking ourselves for not ordering the glasses sooner.
On Sunday morning, we received a text about finding glasses in the toy section of Walmart. The glasses were a wallet-friendly $1 at our local store. With glasses in hand, we set out preparing for Monday. For those still looking for glasses, please note that some vendors have been selling unsafe products. You can find a list of reputable vendors at the American Astronomical Society website.
Still no luck finding glasses? You can also very easily create a pinhole projector to see the moon pass over the sun. NASA has provided a printable pinhole projector. Just print, cut a small circular hole, and head outside on Monday to watch the projection! You can even choose a printable pinhole projector in the shape of your state.
On Delmarva, we’ll be seeing a near-total solar eclipse with the moon blocking about 80% of the sun at the maximum point. The moon will begin obstructing the sun around 1:21pm, and reach the maximum point of sun obscurity at 2:46pm. The moon will continue to move across the sun until 4:04pm when the eclipse ends.
For those that would like to attend an eclipse event, there are a number of options. NASA Wallops Flight Facility will be hosting a full event at their Visitor Center on Wallops Island. They will also have viewing locations with limited quantities of glasses at Tom’s Cove in Chincoteague and at the Assateague Island Visitor Center in Berlin. Finally, Salisbury’s Chamber of Commerce will host a viewing party in front of their office on East Main Street.
The next solar eclipse won’t happen until 2021, and even then the totality of the eclipse will not compare with Monday’s event. Step outside around 2:45pm, don your protective eye wear or get your projector ready and enjoy!