On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible in totality within a band across 48 states of America, while in the rest of the world it will only be visible as a partial eclipse. The reason why is called a total solar eclipse is that the dark silhouette of the Moon completely obscures the intensely bright light of the Sun, allowing the much fainter solar corona to be visible.
The total phase of this total solar eclipse will be visible from a narrow path spanning all across the USA from the West Coast to the East Coast.
The reason why this solar eclipse is noteworthy is that it’s the first one in 38 years and stars will be visible during daytime. The reason for this is the total darkening of the sun which will enable visibility for Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and the stars around.
When the eclipse begins, at 1st contact, it will appear as if the Moon is taking a bite out of the Sun. As the eclipse progresses, the sky will get darker, the temperature will drop, and if you pay attention, animals and birds will become quieter.
At 2nd contact, which is when totality begins, the diamond ring can be seen. You might also see pink spots called prominences near the diamond. These spots are caused by gases on the Sun’s surface. Totality is the only time when one can see the corona, the Sun’s atmosphere.
At 3rd contact, a second diamond ring may appear.
Where To Watch The Solar Eclipse?
You are in for an astronomical treat, since the last time a total solar eclipse was visible from coast to coast was almost 100 years ago, on June 8, 1918, so if you’re lucky enough to be in the path of totality, weather permitting, of course, you definitely need to be on one of these places and enjoy the spectacular view.
Big Bear Lake
The Big Bear Valley Astronomical Society will set up a “safe observing site” in the eastern parking lot of Big Bear’s Swim Beach to SAFELY watch the solar eclipse on August 21. You won’t get to see a total eclipse, but the sun will be about 70% covered by the moon (partial eclipse)… still very dramatic. Weather permitting; the event will start at 9:07 am and will end at 11:48 am with the last sliver of the sun finally uncovered. The maximum effect will be at 10:23 am with about 70% of the sun being hidden.
View event on the front lawn; the Stellar Emporium gift shop is selling eclipse viewers. Parking is likely to be a nightmare, so take the DASH shuttle from Metro’s Red Line station at Vermont and Sunset. For event details and how to get there, check out this site.
Watch the total eclipse with a pair of free eclipse glasses or tune into a live stream that will be broadcast in the air-conditioned Lecture Hall. The event is free of charge and you can see more information here.
Kidspace Children’s Museum
Make sure your kids don’t miss this unique experience, so take them with you and join NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Kidspace from 9:30 am – 12:00 pm to experience this awesome event. They will be providing free solar sunglasses from JPL (while supplies last)* to safely watch the eclipse. While Pasadena won’t experience a total solar eclipse, there will be a showing of the NASA live stream as it occurs across the US.
King Gillette Ranch
At the Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center, park rangers will lead a solar eclipse program, starting at 9:30 a.m. If you chose this watching spot, you can see more details on how to get there, here.
L.A. State Historic Park
At 8:30 a.m., park rangers will lead a hike from the Gateway to Nature Center in El Pueblo to this new park in Downtown L.A., but visitors are also welcome to come straight to the park.
At 80 percent coverage, Mammoth may offer the closest to totality you can get within a reasonable drive of L.A., which would be impressive enough itself, but to make the experience more spectacular, this viewing party takes place at the mountain’s summit, 11,053 feet up. A $23 ticket includes your gondola ride and viewing glasses.
Mount Wilson Observatory
View the eclipse through a variety of solar telescopes at the Mount Wilson Observatory. A U.S. Forest Service Adventure Pass is required to park at the Observatory if you chose to watch it from there.
Rancho Sierra Vista
Meet at the Satwiwa: A Native American Indian Culture Center for children’s activities and Native American sky stories. You can join and watch the eclipse from this place.
Take an Adequate Eye Protection
I’m sure you well know by now that you shouldn’t look directly at the Sun. Not before, during or after the eclipse without wearing any protective eyewear.
Looking at the Sun with your naked eyes is highly dangerous and can even cause blindness. The safest way to see a solar eclipse is to wear protective eclipse glasses or use a pinhole projector you can easily make yourself.
If you’d like more information on the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles, or to have help looking for your next home, please feel free to reach out! I’m happy to help, no obligation.