LOS ANGELES — Griffith Observatory officials are cautioning those planning to attend a free public viewing of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse to prepare for “very large crowds,” and to take all necessary precautions to protect their eyes from direct exposure to the sun.
The viewing event is from 9:05 a.m. to 11:44 a.m., the time of the eclipse.
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 observatory will have 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.
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.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is planning five other public viewing events of the eclipse in the Southland. They will be held at Glendale Community College, the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena, the Montebello Library and the California Science Center in Exposition Park.
The California Science Center 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.
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.