While Long Island isn’t in the path of totality of this afternoon’s Great American Eclipse, the fervor over this rare phenomenon is being felt here too. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to stay close to home and watch:

The eclipse begins at 2:13 p.m. this afternoon on Long Island, with maximum coverage (about 88 percent) at about 3:27 p.m., ending at about 4:37 p.m.

As you’ve hopefully already heard, it is not safe to view a partial eclipse with your naked eye — if you are coming up short on a desperate hunt for eclipse glasses, NASA has some tips for building an eclipse projector using a cardboard box and a white sheet of paper. Really! Colanders are also a great way to view a projection of the nifty crescent moon patterns that you should be able to see in areas of dappled sunlight as the eclipse reaches maximum coverage.

Several Suffolk County Parks are open free of charge to residents to view the eclipse this afternoon, including Montauk County Park, West Hills County Park in Huntington, Southaven County Park in Yaphank, Raynor Park in Lake Ronkonkoma, Gardiner Park in Bayshore and Smith Point County Park in Shirley.

The East Hampton Library hosts an eclipse viewing experience from 2 to 4 p.m., with lawn games, refreshments and crafts for kids — eclipse glasses will be available free of charge. The Westhampton Free Library also hosts a viewing session, with glasses available free of charge, from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Libraries throughout the Suffolk County Library system have been giving out free eclipse glasses, but may have run out by the time you read this post.

The Giving Room in Southold is hosting a community viewing, setting intentions for 2024, meditating and celebrating “the massive power of solar and lunar energy” at a local beach beginning at 2 p.m., with NASA-approved glasses provided. The cost is $10 and registration is required here.

If you still think you might want to drive upstate to get yourself to the path of totality, Governor Hochul is warning of heavy traffic and encouraging people to take public transportation and stay put for a while after viewing the eclipse. Parking will be prohibited on the shoulder of state highways during the eclipse.

If you want to get a feel for the total eclipse experience, here’s our coverage from North Carolina of the August 2017 Semi-Great American Eclipse.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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