Angie Crouch and Edwin Calderon
A rare solar eclipse will be visible on the West Coast just before sunset Sunday, but viewers must prepare well so not to damage their eyes. And no, sunglasses won't cut it. Angie Crouch reports from Griffith Observatory for the NBC4 News at 11pm on Friday, May 18
A partial solar eclipse will be on display in the American southwest on Sunday, weather permitting, and Southern Californian’s are expected to head to places like Griffith Park in Los Angeles to get a glimpse of the rare moment.
The partial eclipse is annular, meaning the moon will not fully cover the Sun, leaving what some call a “ring of fire” around the edges of the moon.
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The eclipse is scheduled to begin at 5:24 p.m. and end at 7:42 p.m. It is the first of its kind to be seen in the continental U.S. in 18 years.
The eclipse will follow a path that stretches across a 200-mile stretch of the U.S., from the northern border in California, down through Nevada and Arizona, passing into Utah before it ends in Texas. NASA’s eclipse website has a detailed, interactive map.
Where to see it
The Griffith Observatory, located at Griffith Park, is a good spot for curious visitors to check out the eclipse, but the area is expected to be congested.
Nearby Greek Theatre is hosting the California Music Festival and AIDS Walk, an all-day event that is likely to attract a lot of visitors to the area.
Griffith Observatory, which is open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., urges people to arrive early to find parking.
To avoid traffic and parking problems, eclipse enthusiasts can take the Metro Red Line to the Sunset/Vermont station, where they can hop on the Weekend Observatory Shuttle to and from the observatory. The shuttle also runs from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and costs 50 cents each way.
Eclipses can be incredible, but viewing them improperly can cause damage to the eyes, and no, your sunglasses are not sufficient.
Viewing through a telescope can be a good way to catch a close-up glimpse of the eclipse, but make sure the telescope is equipped with “certifiably safe filters,” according to a statement from the observatory.
Onlookers can also purchase No. 14 welder’s glass to wear over their eyes.
Telescopes available for free by the observatory will be equipped with proper filters. Griffith Observatory’s gift shop will stock special filters and “eclipse glasses.”