By now, everyone in North America knows there will be a total solar eclipse on Monday. So, if you are like some people I know who are sick of hearing about it, stop reading now! If, however, you are like me, are completely fascinated by this eclipse and click on every story you see, then please keep reading. I found two good stories in Saturday’s Los Angeles Times with excellent information about where to view the eclipse in LA and what you should be looking for to maximize your eclipse experience.
Just as a reminder, the eclipse will start around 9:05 a.m. in our area, and it will reach it’s maximum at about 10:21 a.m. It will end at 11:44 a.m., according to the Griffith Observatory, which is hosting a public viewing event from 9 a.m. to noon on its front lawn. The Observatory is expecting large crowds and heavy traffic, so be sure to visit its web page for more information on traffic and getting to the Observatory.
Alternatively, the Los Angeles Times story includes nine other places where you can view the eclipse in L.A., including UCLA, Cal Tech, the California Science Center, Glendale Community College Planetarium, Mount Wilson Observatory, KidsSpace Children’s Museum in Pasadena, LA State Historic Park in Chinatown, Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center in Newbury Park, and King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, as well as lots of public libraries.
Locally, students at John Burroughs Middle School will be viewing the eclipse from NASA’s live stream in the school auditorium, implementing the District’s “inclement weather” procedures. (This is because the school was not able to secure viewing glasses for all 1700 students from a reputable source that would assure the safety of the students eyes, explained principal Dr. Steve Martinez.)
“We are an iPad school, so everyone will have the opportunity to view it broadcast by NASA’s TV channel or in the school auditorium,” said Martinez. “We’ve talked to our students about safety and they understand they shouldn’t look directly into the sun.”
But kids can forget about danger, so Martinez and his staff will be monitoring the kids so they are safe. Burroughs has asked parents not to allow kids to bring in their own eclipse glasses, because there’s no way for staff to verify the glasses are safe. Martinez explained the timing was tough because school just started and all the viewing glasses from approved vendors were sold out by the time he and his staff got preparations underway. But as an earth science educator, he’s committed to making it a fun and interesting for the students.
If your schedule permits you to go outside and view the eclipse, and you were able to get glasses but are wondering if they are safe to view the eclipse, here’s some information we published earlier that bears repeating. The American Astronomical Society offers a list of reputable suppliers as one sure way to know your glasses are up to current safety standards. Also, see this link for other ways to tell if your glasses might be safe – in short:
“You shouldn’t be able to see anything through a safe solar filter except the sun itself or something comparably bright, such as the sun reflected in a mirror, a sunglint off shiny metal, the hot filament of an unfrosted incandescent light bulb, a bright halogen light bulb, a multiple-white-LED flashlight, or an arc-welder’s torch.”
For those who can’t view the eclipse directly for whatever reason, you can watch the NASA TV eclipse broadcast online and access interactive web content and views of the eclipse from more than 60 telescopes, aircraft and balloons, through the link below.
And for celebratory end to the day, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is offering Supermoon kids cones for 99 cents, note it’s “just for kiddos.” According to Jeni’s home office, the special deal is being offered across the country in honor of the fact that it’s been 99 years since a total eclipse crossed the U.S. You can visit our local Jeni’s at 123 N Larchmont Blvd.