EDIT 7/28/17: My husband brought this article to my attention, stating that some glasses offered on Amazon may be counterfeit and how you can properly identify glasses that are approved for eclipse viewing. I have updated the link below to glasses that appear to meet safety standards but please be sure to research before making your purchases.

We’re really excited for the upcoming eclipse! Even though we aren’t far enough south to be directly in the path for ideal viewing, we’ll still get a beautiful show here in Maryland. I did a bit of research to make sure we have the proper gear and information to plan ahead for an ideal viewing experience.

First, be sure you keep your eyes safe with the appropriate eye wear – these eclipse viewing glasses are a steal on Amazon so stock up if you plan to have a viewing party!

Next, find out what time you should be watching based on your location. This article from Space.com shows the path of the eclipse and the anticipated view north and south of that area. This calculator will let you know exactly what time to expect the eclipse to begin, peak, and end where you are.

Worried about clouds getting in your way? Check here to find clear skies close by!

If you’re interested in photographing the eclipse via your camera or telescope, you’ll need a solar filter (this one is marketed as universal, but check the specs to be sure it fit your lenses!) or a filter sheet to use on your camera or telescope. These instructions will help you make an easy DIY filter holder for either instrument. I’m going the DIY route because I want the option to quickly change between lenses and want to be sure the filter will fit all of them.

When your camera is prepped with a filter, Mr. Eclipse has an awesome page with lens and setting recommendations – this is the perfect place to start so you can ensure you capture the best image possible. I plan on having the Nikon 17-35mm 2.8, 70-200 2.8, and 300 2.8 lenses on hand. Be sure to note the position of the sun where you plan to shoot from. I think we’ll be fine from our yard, but I mentally noted a few very close by open areas just in case.

If you take photos or just have a good time watching this astronomical event, let me know! I’d love to see your images!