Two local nature centers and a public library will host viewing parties for a solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21.
A total solar eclipse, where the moon blocks the light from the sun, will occur in parts of the U.S., including parts of north Georgia. While metro Atlanta will not experience a full eclipse, about 97 percent of the sun will be covered, causing the temperature to drop significantly. The eclipse in Atlanta is expected to peak at about 2:30 p.m.
The eclipse should only be viewed through solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses,” which are available at viewing events, because even the small amount of sunlight that gets around the moon can severely damage the eyes. Even very dark ordinary sunglasses are not safe for looking at the sun, according to NASA.
The Northside Branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System will host a viewing party from 1:30 to 4 p.m. The library will provide viewing glasses, refreshments and educational viewing clips. The library is located at 3295 Northside Parkway in Buckhead. Call 404-814-3508 for more information.
The Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Buckhead welcomes the public to gather in front of its building at 4055 Roswell Road from 1 to 3 p.m. Call 404-455-3650 for more information.
The city of Brookhaven is inviting the public to Brookhaven City Hall at 4362 Peachtree Road and all city parks to watch the eclipse.
The city is urging residents to only view the eclipse with protection. The city gave away 500 free solar eclipse viewing glasses to Brookhaven residents on Aug. 16, but ran out within a few hours.
“A common misconception regarding solar eclipses is that it is safe to look at the sun during the event due to the diminished sunlight; however, this is not the case. Looking into direct sunlight, for even brief periods, can cause eye damage and even blindness. For this reason, it is important to use special-purpose solar filters when enjoying the eclipse,” Paul White, Brookhaven’s emergency management coordinator, said in a press release.
The Dunwoody Nature Center will hold an eclipse event from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Dunwoody Senior Baseball Fields at 5321 Roberts Drive. The nature center will provide eclipse viewing glasses. The center asks that visitors park in the baseball field parking lot and bring blankets or chairs. Call 770-394-3322 for more information.