Solar Eclipse: Don’t Be Kept in the Dark

With excitement building for the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, we wanted to share a document called The Solar Eclipse is Coming, which was prepared last spring by Upper School teacher Martin Schmidt and the students in his Honors Astronomy & Weather class. Not only does the fact sheet explain the science behind an eclipse, it includes the timeline for the Baltimore area. The student astronomers also stress the importance of never looking directly at the sun during a total or partial eclipse.

The following facts are from The Solar Eclipse is Coming:
  • A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks our view of the sun.
  • The total eclipse will be visible on a long narrow path (the path of totality) extending from Oregon to South Carolina. The maximum time of total eclipse on the path of totality is 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • Both in the totality path and everywhere else, there will be a partial eclipse for over 2 hours as the moon moves gradually across the face of the sun to a maximum coverage, then gradually moves off. This extended partial eclipse is what will be visible in the Baltimore area. The duration of the eclipse in Baltimore will be: 2 hours and 43 minutes.
  • The eclipse timeline for Baltimore on Monday, August 21 is:
    • Partial eclipse begins at 1:18 p.m.
    • Maximum eclipse is at 2:42 p.m. when coverage will be about 80%
    • Partial eclipse ends at 4:01 p.m.

While Baltimore is not on the “path of totality” and will only experience a partial eclipse, many members of our community will be traveling to viewing locations across the country. If you are planning to watch the eclipse, send a picture of you and your location to for a post-eclipse photo essay.

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