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California Science Center to host eclipse viewing party

EXPOSITION PARK — The California Science Center will be one of six Southland locations holding free public viewings of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

The science center also will have two days of pre-eclipse activities from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 19 and 20. The viewing party itself is from 9 to 11:45 a.m.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is planning the viewing event at the science center and four other locations, including Glendale Community College, the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena and the Montebello Library.

People in Los Angeles will see a partial eclipse (the moon will cover almost 70 percent of the sun’s diameter and 62 percent of its area), while a total solar eclipse will be visible in a swath across the continental United States from the Oregon coast to South Carolina.

The Aug. 21 solar eclipse will be visible throughout North America. The swath of yellow extending from Oregon east to the Carolinas and Georgia are where the eclipse will be a total eclipse, where the moon will cover all of the sun’s surface. In Los Angeles, the moon will only cover about 70 percent of the surface of the sun.
(Courtesy photo)

The Griffith Observatory also is holding a viewing event with several solar telescopes available staffed by knowledgeable employees and local volunteers to provide safe viewing opportunities. Officials said they would also have special glasses available for purchase at the Stellar Emporium gift shop.

Observatory officials are cautioning those planning to attend to prepare for “very large crowds,” and to take all necessary precautions to protect their eyes from direct exposure to the sun.

Visitors are also urged to wear a hat, sunscreen and walking shoes and to bring water, as they may need to walk a substantial distance uphill to get to the observatory with parking expected to be limited.

The Griffith Observatory is located at 2800 E. Observatory Road, at Griffith Park. If parking becomes full, vehicle access to the park via the Vermont Avenue and Fern Dell gates will be suspended. Visitors are encouraged to take the DASH Observatory bus from the Vermont/Sunset Red Line station, which will run earlier than usual that day.

If Aug. 21 is overcast, viewing parties may be canceled.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has a website devoted to the eclipse. It can be visited at eclipse2017.nasa.gov.

The next solar eclipse visible in Los Angeles is expected to occur on Oct. 14, 2023.