The solar eclipse expected to occur on Monday, Aug. 21 is a rare event. While it is more visible as one travels south, in Darien, there will still be a 70% partial eclipse.

In order to enjoy the event safely, the Darien Health Department has circulated some safety information, including making sure to have approved safety eclipse glasses.

The Darien Library is also holding an event on Monday, Aug. 21 from 1 to 4. The phases of the eclipse include a start at 1:24 p.m., max coverage at 2:45 p.m. and ending at 4 p.m.

To celebrate, the library is offering eclipse glasses on a first-come, first-served basis for 30  people starting at 1 p.m. The glasses will be given out one per family. There will also be 20 glasses to borrow to run out and then return the glasses back to the Welcome Desk. Attendees are also welcome to bring their own solar eclipse glasses.

The library will also offer a livestream of the eclipse in the Community Room starting at 2:15 p.m. Bring a friend and relax in the a/c as you watch the eclipse happen on the big screen. NASA will be showing the total eclipse, not the partial to be seen from Connecticut.

RSVP here at

Here are safety tips from circulated by the Darien Health Department:

But how do I look at the sun without going blind?

You cannot look at the sun while any part of its bright disk is still visible. The moon does cover quite a bit of it during the partial phases leading up to totality, but you have to use special solar viewing glasses (also called "eclipse glasses") to look at it during the partial phases. You must use these glasses to look at the sun during this time, and if you use them correctly (according to the instructions printed on them), it's 100% safe. During the brief period of totality ONLY, when NO bright part of the sun is showing, you can look directly at the totally eclipsed sun without any kind of filters, and you will not believe the sight. In fact, during totality ONLY, you can even look with binoculars if you want. The view is simply stunning. BUT, IMMEDIATELY after totality, (as soon as you see the really bright diamond ring effect again, when the bright part of the sun returns to view), the glasses have to come back on. To repeat: You MUST use the eclipse glasses whenever the sun is not TOTALLY eclipsed - whenever ANY bright piece of it is visible.

How do I take pictures of the eclipse?

Unless you have special solar filters for your camera and telescope, you can't even set up for pictures like this — the heat of the sun will melt your lenses (not to mention your eyes)! If you want to pull out a point and shoot during totality, be advised that your pictures will not be any good. First of all, you need a huge telephoto lens to take pictures of something the size of the sun. If you don't believe us, go out and take a picture of the full moon the next time you see one.

So a telescope is out, too?

Yup, unless you have a special solar filter that fits over the end of the scope (not at the eyepiece!), AND you know how to use it! Those are about $200 each, so you should know whether you have one or not! Ditto for binoculars - if you bring them, you can ONLY use them during the brief period of totality. You cannot look directly at the sun in any way at all, if any bright piece of it is visible!

For more  safety info and guidelines, visit

Further information comes from NASA:

NASA recommends that people who plan to view the eclipse should check the safety authenticity of viewing glasses to ensure they meet basic proper safety viewing standards.

Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the following criteria:

·      Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard

·      Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product

·      Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses

·      Not use homemade filters

·      Ordinary sunglasses -- even very dark ones -- should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially-eclipsed Sun is with a pinhole projector. With this method, sunlight streams through a small hole – such as a pencil hole in a piece of paper, or even the space between your fingers – onto a makeshift screen, such as a piece of paper or the ground. It’s important to only watch the screen, not the Sun. Never look at the Sun through the pinhole -- it is not safe.

NASA has coordinated with medical and science professionals to provide additional safety information. For details, visit:

More than 6,800 libraries across the U.S. are distributing safety-certified glasses. Many are working with scientists to hold viewing events and activities before and during the eclipse. For a listing of participating libraries, visit:

NASA Television is offering a special live program, “Eclipse Across America: Through the Eyes of NASA” with real-time coverage of the event from coast to coast. The nearly four-hour program will include unprecedented images of the Aug. 21 eclipse from numerous spacecraft -- including the International Space Station – high-altitude aircraft and balloons, and ground observations. Each will offer a unique vantage point for the eclipse. Additionally, the broadcast will include live coverage of activities in parks, libraries, stadiums, festivals and museums across the nation, and on social media. To watch the Aug. 21 NASA TV eclipse broadcast online and access interactive web content and views of the eclipse from these assets, visit: