GRIFFITH PARK—The Griffith Observatory will offer a free public viewing of the “Great American Eclipse” on Monday, August 21, from 9:05 a.m. to 11:44 a.m. Visitors should prepare for large crowds and lines, officials said on Monday, August 14.

Monday’s eclipse, which will involve the moon completely covering the sun and the sun’s atmosphere, will mark the first total solar eclipse to cross any part of the lower 48 U.S. states since February 1979, officials said. The eclipse will be visible in a northwest to southeast swath across the continental United States, from the Oregon Coast to South Carolina. The path of totality will be visible across 14 states in the U.S., NASA reported. People in Los Angeles will only see a partial eclipse, as almost 70 percent of the sun’s diameter will be obscured by the moon.

The observatory will have several solar telescopes available for safely viewing the event, with the aid of knowledgeable employees and volunteers, officials said. Special glasses will be available for purchase at the Stellar Emporium gift shop. Visitors are urged to take necessary precautions to protect their eyes from exposure to the sun, as looking directly into the sun can cause permanent eye damage. Additionally, visitors should wear hats, sunscreen, and appropriate shoes, as they may be required to walk a significant distance uphill, due to limited parking.

The Griffith Observatory is located at 2800 East Observatory Road, in Griffith Park. If parking becomes completely full, officials will suspend vehicle access to the park via the Vermont Avenue and Fern Dell gates. Visitors are encouraged to take the DASH Observatory bus from Metro’s Vermont/Sunset Red Line Station, which will run earlier than usual on Monday.