Some tips on when and how to watch the solar eclipse

Path of totality graphic from Wikimedia Commons.

So you want to view the solar eclipse, but Monday is a workday and you can’t stand outside for hours to watch the moon’s progress across the face of the sun. has created a tool that will tell viewers, based on their zip code location, exactly when the eclipse will start, when it will end, the peak time of obscuration and how much of the sun will be covered.

For example, in zip code 20901, the eclipse will start at 1:18 p.m. and end at 4:01 p.m. The peak coverage will be 80.7 percent and occur at 2:42:39 p.m.

In the 20910 area, the start and finish times are the same, the peak time is one second earlier and the total coverage 80.8 percent.

In addition, Vox created an animation that simulates the moon’s path in front of the sun to give viewers an idea of what to expect. Enter any zip code around the country to get the same information.

The data for the tool and the simulation are taken from the U.S. Naval Observatory and NASA.

In the meantime, people are scrambling in last-minute efforts to get safe glasses for viewing the eclipse.

People have been trading information about where they’ve been able to get glasses, as well as where they’ve been unsuccessful.

Some locations that were reported to still have glasses may surprise potential viewers. For example, as of yesterday, one person said they bought two pair for $3 at the 7-11 on Fenton Street. Another report said Michael’s on Rockville Pike had “a large number” for $1.99 each, so checking Michael’s in Silver Spring might be a good idea.

At least one eye doctor was reported to be distributing glasses to patients at no charge, in the interest of preventing any damage; check with your eye professional. In addition, The Washington Post has a list of places and ways to try to find some.

Finally, Montgomery Parks is sponsoring two watch parties where free glasses will be distributed while supplies last. The closest one will be held from 1-4 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park at 1120 Jackson Rd.