Los Feliz News
Observatory Celebrating Arrival of Solar Eclipse
By Damian Kelly
May 18, 2012 - 4:09:11 PM

LOS FELIZ—Astronomy lovers are in for a treat for this weekend as a solar eclipse will be visible on Sunday, May 20 in the Los Angeles area.  The Griffith Observatory will hold a public viewing of the eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, and the moon fully or partially blocks the sun.

This eclipse, though partial, will be the most extensive one in L.A. since 1992.  According to the Observatory’s website, 85.9 percent of the sun’s diameter and 78.6 percent of the sun’s area will be covered by the moon when the eclipse reaches its maximum at approximately 6:38pm.

The Griffith Observatory. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
The Griffith Observatory’s public viewing will commence at 5:24pm when the eclipse begins and will end at 7:42pm when the eclipse concludes.  Highlights of the event will include extensive viewing of the coelostat, live viewing from telescopes on the lawn and talks and explanations by staff.

Eclipse observers should know not to look directly at the sun during the eclipse.  During their event the Observatory will have telescopes properly equipped with filters to allow visitors to view the eclipse safely.  Filters will also be available for purchase at the Observatory’s gift shop.

Considerable congestion on both Vermont and Western Canyon roads that lead to the Observatory is expected as there is a large event scheduled at the neighboring Greek Theatre from 2pm to 9pm.  The site suggests visitors take the Metro Red Line to the Sunset/Vermont station and take the Weekend Observatory Shuttle to and from the Observatory as a way to avoid traffic and parking frustrations.  The shuttle operates 10am to 10pm and costs 50 cents each way.

The Griffith Observatory is located at 2800 East Observatory Road in Los Angeles.  On weekends, it is open from 10am to 10pm.  More information about the Public Viewing of the Solar Eclipse can be found at www.griffithobs.org/exhibits/special/Special_Event_Partial_Eclipse_2012.html

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