How to watch today’s partial eclipse of the sun

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A partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon obscures only part of the sun from Earth’s view.

A partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon obscures only part of the sun from Earth’s view.
Image NASA: T. Ruen

Today at 2:08 p.m. the Los Angeles sky will start to darken as the moon passes in front of the sun, causing a partial solar eclipse. It will last until 4:40 p.m. (Here’s a schedule for the rest of the country).

Remember, don’t look at the sun directly, you can cause permanent damage to your eyes. Instead, make a pinhole camera or just go outside and marvel at the eery light. You can also use two pieces of paper: poke a tiny hole in one and hold it about 3 feet above the other. Direct the sunshine through the hole and you’ll see the shape of the eclipse in its reflection on the lower piece of paper.

Here’s an amazing diagram that shows how to make a pinhole camera.

pinhole_projection_l1
It’s easy to set up a basic pinhole projection system. Credit: Sky & Telescope

The Griffith Observatory will have telescopes and eclipse viewing glasses available. If you can’t make it there, you can watch the observatory’s livestream of the eclipse.

The next full solar eclipse isn’t until 2017.Chair of the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Eclipses, Jay Pasachoff said in a statement that this is just a “coming attraction for the August 21, 2017, eclipse that will have the moon entirely covering the sun in a 60-mile-wide band across the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina, with 80% or more of the sun covered from most of the continental U.S.”

Happy – safe – viewing!