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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Stay Safe Observing Solar Eclipse

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
MEBrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

Next week any person within Prince George’s County should be able to witness a partial solar eclipse, weather permitting.  NASA’s website stated; “A solar eclipse is one of nature’s grandest spectacles.” There are parts of the country that will be able to witness a total eclipse of the sun; however, within the National Capital Region we will be able to see a partial eclipse.  Regardless of where you choose to witness the solar eclipse we ask that you do so safely.

The men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department; civilian, career and volunteer, want you to be able to view this “grand spectacle” and to do so safely.  We offer these simple safety tips so you can continue to talk about this event for years to come.

On Monday, August 21, the eclipse will occur between 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm.  The ideal viewing time for Prince George’s County is between 2:35 pm until 2:50 pm with the maximum cover (81%) occurring at 2:42 pm.

  • Protect your eyesight.  You should never look directly into the sun at any time and this includes during the solar eclipse.  Viewing without the appropriate protection could damage your eyesight for the rest of your life.  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.


  • Do not park on the shoulder of roads to watch the eclipse.  Utilize parking lots or open areas to stop your vehicle, turn your vehicle off and observe from a safe location.  Drive defensively and be keenly aware of other motorists and pedestrians.  Knowing the optimum viewing times - plan ahead.  Distracted driving during the eclipse is just one area of high concern for public safety agencies.

  • Pedestrians should stay clear of all roadways while observing the eclipse.  Select an area void of any vehicular traffic and use extreme caution if walking or biking on or near roads.  Distracted pedestrians and bicyclists are also a concern for all public safety agencies.

For additional information including eclipse glasses and other safety tips visit NASA Eclipse Safety Tips.

All photos provided by: NASA
Check with local science museums, schools and astronomy clubs for eclipse glasses—or purchase an ISO 12312-2 compliant and CE certified pair of these special shades!

Eclipse desktop application preview

Map shows the path of the 2017 total solar eclipse across the United States. The path of the Moon's umbral shadow begins in northern Pacific and crosses the USA from west to east through parts of the following states: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina.