Watching the eclipse in Fairfax County

The first total eclipse of the sun to be seen in the continental United States in 38 years is nearly here.

Monday, August 21 is the date. In Fairfax County the moon will begin to cover the sun at 1:17 p.m. and the eclipse will end at 4:01 p.m.  The maximum eclipse will occur at 2:42 p.m. in our area when about 80-percent of the sun will be covered.

See the eclipse here

Several viewing events are being planned in Fairfax County. They include:

  • Viewing at Burke Lake and Accotink Parks. Attendance is limited, so register here.
  • An eclipse boat tour at the above parks. Register here.
  • Sit at the deck at Riverbend Park or bring a lawn chair and sit in the grassy area to enjoy a spectacular view of the Potomac and the eclipse. Listen to a naturalist presentation on the lore behind eclipse events. Solar eclipse glasses will be provided to participants. Register here.
  • The Great American Solar Eclipse! Presented in collaboration with the GMU Observatory and The Fairfax County Parks Department. 2:00 p.m. at the Patrick Henry Library

We’ll add other events if we become aware of them, so check back with

View safely

Fairfax County officials warn that viewing a solar eclipse , even a partial eclipse, without proper eye protection can cause “eclipse blindness” or retinal burns. You can damage your eyes if you are not using proper safety equipment to view the eclipse. Wearing ordinary sunglasses (or even multiple pairs) will not provide adequate eye protection. Some viewing options include:

You can get more information and safe viewing options from NASA  and the American Astronomical Society.

NASA will also provide a live-stream of the eclipse.



About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.