Solar Eclipse Safety

Virginia is outside of the path of totality, meaning we will see a partially eclipsed sun.

Scientific background, astronomical phenomenon - full sun eclipse, total solar eclipse

A solar eclipse will occur on August 21, 2017, during which nearly 86 percent of the sun will be blocked out in Virginia.  The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. They allow in too much sunlight.

Virginia is outside of the path of totality, meaning we will see a partially eclipsed sun. Outside the path of totality, you must ALWAYS use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly. Viewing the eclipse through a pinhole viewer is another option, but individuals should carefully follow the instructions for constructing a safe pinhole viewer. NASA also offers a guide for making your own pinhole projector. Children should always be supervised when using solar filters and pinhole projectors.

The CDC and NASA both have recommendations on how to safely enjoy the solar eclipse.  The American Astronomical Society has a list of reputable vendors of solar filters & viewers.