Solar Eclipse 2024: Peak times in DC area, watch rare event live

The D.C. area can expect to see the moon cover 87 percent of the sun on Monday, April 8. 

What time is the eclipse? 

The D.C. area will not see a total eclipse, but a partial one will be visible. The eclipse is expected to cover 87 percent of the sun, with optimal viewing between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Monday. 

Here’s what it’s expected to look like based on NASA’s Eclipse Explorer interactive map.

2:04 P.M.

2:20 P.M. 

2:45 P.M.

3:05 P.M. 

3:20 P.M.

 3:45 P.M.

4:05 P.M. 

4:20 P.M. 

4:35 P.M.

READ MORE: How to get the best view of the solar eclipse

2024 Solar Eclipse DC Forecast

Generally speaking, most of us in the Washington, D.C. region will have a good chance of seeing the eclipse, says FOX 5's Tucker Barnes.

Some clouds will be present in the area during peak visibility. A warm front approaching from the southwest is what is threatening to put some clouds in the sky during the afternoon hours.

FOX 5’s Taylor Grenda says it will not be an overcast day, but we will have some cloud coverage in the area that could get in the way of the viewing. She says we should get enough sunshine to be able to view the eclipse in our region.

Fingers crossed for a mostly sunny view!

FOX 5's Mike Thomas will be in Buffalo, New York and Jen Delgado will be in St. Louis, Missouri, both in the path of totality – and also, possible cloud cover. 

How to watch the solar eclipse in DC? 

A number of parks, libraries, museums and businesses in and around D.C. are holding events for the eclipse. 

The National Air and Space Museum is teaming up with NASA, NOAA, the U.S. National Science Foundation and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory to host a festival on the National Mall on April 8, featuring telescopes and educational activities.

Outside of the District, the Rosslyn BID is hosting an event with music, lawn games, and eclipse viewing courtesy of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club (NOVAC). In Purcellville, the Franklin Park Arts Center will have hands-on activities from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly is holding an event from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., where you can watch outside the center with safe solar telescopes and projection viewers. 

NASA plans to launch three sounding rockets into the Earth's upper atmosphere during the eclipse so scientists can study the disturbances in the ionosphere when the moon eclipses the sun. 

The public can watch the launches in person from 1-4 p.m. at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center. It will also be visible from Chincoteague Island, Assateague Island, Ocean City, Virginia Beach, and the Delaware Seashore. 

Where to get solar eclipse glasses in DC?

Businesses, public libraries, state parks and more are offering complimentary eclipse glasses in the DC metro area.

The National Air and Space Museum: The museum has a limited amount of free glasses that are available between 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. If the free glasses have all been distributed for the day, or additional glasses are desired, the Smithsonian Store has solar eclipse glasses in select museum stores, while supplies last. Glasses will be sold at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

DC Public Library: While supplies last, DCPL will have the special solar eclipse glasses at District area libraries from April 1 - April 8. 

Montgomery County Public Library: Some MCPL libraries will have solar eclipse glasses and activities available. To see if your library is participating click here.

Virginia State Parks: All 42 of Virginia's state parks will have solar eclipse glasses for $1 plus tax at the parks’ visitor centers and gift shops.

Warby Parker: Eyewear retailer Warby Parker will give away two pairs of glasses per family at their stores, starting April 1. They will be available as long as supplies last. You can find their locations here.

Jeni's Ice Cream: The popular ice cream shop Jeni's is also giving away solar eclipse glasses. All online orders of the new Punk Stargonaut ice cream flavors will include four pairs of collectible eclipse glasses through April 3. Jeni's stores will also give away eclipse glasses starting on April 5. Find locations here.

MyEyeDr: The eye care provider MyEyeDr is offering free solar eclipse glasses. There are 438 locations across the country giving away glasses while supplies last. Find a location near you here.