Best Places to View Solar Eclipse in the Outer Banks

Best Places to View Solar Eclipse in the Outer Banks

Everyone has heard by now about the monumental solar eclipse that will transverse the continental United States on August 21, 2017.  A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth creating a shadow over earth. This is the first coast to coast eclipse in the US since 1918.  While the Outer Banks will not have full totality, estimates are 87.5% coverage, it is sure to be an amazing sight. 

Safety First

However, make sure you have proper viewing glasses to prevent any damage to your eyesight and even blindness.  Sun glasses are NOT safe for viewing the eclipse.  Glasses can be purchased at Walmart, Walgreens and other area stores.  The local library will also distribute glasses while supplies last.

NASA urges eclipse watches to make sure glasses are from an approved manufactures and have an ISO icon with 12312-2.  Some eclipse viewing glasses have been recalled as being counterfeit even though they are marked with the ISO icon.  You can check this page for instructions on how to tell if your glasses are safe.  Eclipse glasses are many thousands of times darker than ordinary sun glasses. 

Approved filters should also be used if you are photographing or taking a video with a phone or camera to prevent damage to the equipment.  It is not safe to look through a camera, binoculars, or a telescope while wearing approved glasses.

You can also make a simple indirect viewer with two pieces of cardboard, foil and a pin hole.

The eclipse should begin at 1:23 and will climax at 2:49 and end at 4:08 in the Outer Banks.

NC Aquarium 

374 Airport Rd Manteo, NC 11:30 am to 3:30 pm

This family oriented celebration is a learning event with games and activities designed to teach young and old about this cosmic phenomenon.  The aquarium will have limited supplies of eclipse viewing glasses available on first come first served basis; one activity included is construction of pinhole eclipse projectors that can be used to safely view the eclipse.  Activities and games are scheduled from 11:30 to 3:30, educator led programs run from 11:30 to 1:30.  Admission fee to aquarium covers all solar eclipse activities. 

Jockey’s Ridge  

Route 158 Nags Head

Where better to watch the eclipse that the tallest sand dune on the east coast?  Jockey’s Ridge is hosting a solar eclipse party from 1pm and visitors can get glasses for viewing the eclipse at the visitors center beginning at 1pm.  The event is free and open to the public.

Beach or Sound

No matter where you are staying on the Outer Banks, take the time to experience this cosmic event.  Grab a blanket and head to the beach or visit one of the sound front parks at Whalehead in Corolla, or the Duck sound front park for a clear view of the eclipse. 

Pick up some limited time “eclipse doughnuts” at Duck Donuts available from Aug 19 to 21.  The cake doughnuts are topped with chocolate icing, chocolate sprinkles, vanilla icing with Oreo and hot fudge drizzle and other vanilla and chocolate variations.

What to Expect

Keep an eye (and leash) on pets as they can become scared or confused.  Nocturnal animals like owls and foxes may be seen during the eclipse and crickets and frogs may sing their nighttime songs.  Birds may become quiet.  Temperatures are likely to drop several degrees during the event.

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