The Vineyard will have mostly clear skies for much of today but some clouds are predicted to roll in later during the historic solar eclipse.

While not in the direct path of a total solar eclipse, which stretches from Mexico to Canada, and is drawing onlookers by the thousands to places such as Waco, Tex., Russellville, Ark., Lima, Ohio, Buffalo, N.Y. and Mars Hill, Me., to name a few, the Island will experience a 90 per cent covering of the sun by the moon.

The eclipse begins a bit after 2 p.m. and ends around 4:30 p.m., with the fullest effect taking place here at about 3:25 p.m.

Awe is one word to describe the astral phenomenon and watch parties are being set up all over the Island. The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is hosting a viewing party on its lawn overlooking Vineyard Haven harbor. Libraries are ground central too, with safety goggles on hand for participants.

Safety is the other buzzword as looking into the sun during an eclipse is dangerous business, and should only be attempted with special glasses. Island schools have handed out glasses to all students and are delaying sports games and practices until after the eclipse has finished.

“Due to the eclipse on Monday, April 8, no team can practice outside prior to 4:45 p.m.,” wrote athletic director Mark McCarthy. “Softball and baseball, you are traveling and we have moved the game times until after the eclipse.”

Suzan Bellincampi, the Gazette’s All Outdoor’s columnist, suggests viewers make sure their eclipse glasses comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard. Ms. Bellincampi also describes in her column this week how to make your own pinhole glasses with a piece of paper or cardboard.

The last solar eclipse in this area took place in 2017 and the next one won’t come around until 2044.