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Follow the sun at these Eastside solar eclipse viewing events

Aug 16, 2017
Solar eclipse stages in Los Angeles

Courtesy Griffith Park Observatory

By HELIN JUNG

It’s hard to get excited about Monday mornings. But for astronomy and science buffs, next Monday, Aug. 21 will be different. There’s a total solar eclipse happening exclusively in America, and you can join other eclipse fans at viewing events in and around the Eastside.

Some are referring this is as the “American Eclipse” or the “National Eclipse” because the “path of totality” — the zone where the moon will appear to have completely blotted out the sun — will fall only within the boundaries of the U.S. for  the first time since since 1776.

In Los Angeles, the eclipse will be partial, with the moon’s shadow covering about 70% of the sun’s diameter at the peak of the event. The eclipse will start at 9:05 a.m. and will hit its maximum at 10:21 a.m., according E.C. Krupp, the director of Griffith Observatory. That’s when “the sun will kind of look like a tilted smile in the sky,” Kupp told the Los Angeles Times.

A partial eclipse is nevertheless pretty special, and viewing events are happening across LA for the occasion. Here are a few of them happening on the Eastside and nearby.  (Remember to use proper eye protection before you stare directly at the sun.)

Arroyo Seco, Cypress Park, and El Sereno Branch Libraries

Many branches of the Los Angeles Public Library, including three in Northeast LA, will host viewing events and parties on August 21. The Cypress Park, Arroyo Seco in Highland Park, and El Sereno locations will provide viewing glasses if you don’t have your own equipment. If you’re more inclined to DIY, you can make a pinhole viewer at home or at the Arroyo Seco branch on August 14 and 20.

Caltech

For those who want to get fully educated on the solar eclipse while watching it, a trip to Caltech’s Beckman Lawn is in order. There will be the usual eclipse glasses, as well as solar telescopes, a live stream from the path of totality, along with astrophysicists and astronomers.

City Terrace Library

The county library system will also be hosting viewing events, including the City Terrace Library in East Los Angeles. Safety viewing glasses will be provided while supplies last.

Glendale Community College

The Glendale Community College Planetarium will host an event with eclipse glasses, streaming video, and “fun activities.” NASA staff will also be at the event to answer questions.

Griffith Observatory

Head to the front lawn of the Griffith Park Observatory for its public viewing event (weather conditions permitting). The gift shop will have eclipse glasses for sale starting at 8 a.m. Anticipate crowds and traffic; the observatory suggests taking public transportation to the event.

Kidspace Children’s Museum

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Library will be at Kidspace in Pasadena with solar sunglasses, and there will also be a workshop to make pinhole viewers.

Helin Jung is a freelance writer in LA

A message from Eastside Events sponsor Metro

Go Metro to Nisei Week 2017 in Little Tokyo

Enjoyed by thousands every summer, Nisei Week in Little Tokyo is one the nation’s longest running cultural festivals of its kind. From August 19 to 27, participate in free Japanese cultural events, activities for all ages, and live music and dancing.

The most convenient way to get to the 77th Annual Nisei Week festivities is to take the Metro Gold Line and get off at the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station. Learn more at golittletokyo.com.

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