It’s the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in nearly a century and you won’t want to miss it. Nicknamed the Great American Eclipse due to the moon’s shadow only set to fall on North America, a total solar eclipse will be visible in a band across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina starting at 9:05AM and ending at 11:44AM on Monday, August 21.
Those viewing the celestial event in Long Beach will see a partial eclipse with the moon covering almost 70 percent of the sun’s diameter and 62 percent of its area by 10:21AM at maximum eclipse (when the moon is closest to the center of the sun) according to timeanddate.com.
Brave the Crowds at Griffith Observatory
Check out the partial eclipse on Mount Hollywood through a solar telescope or through special glasses (available for purchase at the Stellar Emporium gift shop). Officials at the Griffith Observatory have cautioned those planning to attend the free public viewing, to take place from 9:05AM to 11:44AM, to prepare for “very large crowds” and to take all necessary precautions to protect their eyes from direct sun exposure.
Make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, walking shoes and water as visitors may have to walk a substantial distance uphill from the limited parking expected to be available. 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. The Griffith Observatory is located at 2800 East Observatory Road at Griffith Park.
Watch the NASA EDGE Livestream
If you’re lacking the adequate eye protection or you’re going to be stuck indoors during the solar eclipse, push that FOMO aside because you won't have to miss it.
From outside Saluki Stadium at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Illinois, a four-hour and 30-minute live webcast of the total solar eclipse will be aired by NASA EDGE, NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium, the University of Southern Illinois Carbondale and Lunt Solar Systems.
Starting at 8:45AM on Monday, the webcast will track the eclipse and introduce viewers to leading experts in the Heliophysics field, provide high resolution imagery in three different wavelengths, show a scientific balloon launch from inside the stadium and more.
Check out this link for more information.
Document Animal and Plant Behavior
Help the California Academy of Sciences gather evidence of how plants and animals react during a solar eclipse with the iNaturalist app. While “birds reportedly stop singing, spiders may tear down their webs, and gray squirrels retreat to their dens,” according to the academy, many of these reports are anecdotal.
Citizen scientists have been invited to record animal and plant behavior right before, during and after the eclipse this Monday. Find out how you can gather and submit this valuable scientific data here. Learn more about the project through KPCC here.
Share Your Feelings for Psychology Research
Cynthia Pury, a psychology professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, wants to know how the nationwide event will affect people, according to Today.
The public is invited to share their feelings before and after they see the eclipse through this survey. Pury will be able to better study the “experience of awe — an immensely powerful, mostly positive emotion inspired by a sense of vastness of the universe” through the self-recorded reactions of viewers throughout the US.
Take a Picture, Safely
While most of us will likely have smartphones or point-and-shoot cameras to capture the moon as it covers the sun, don’t expect stunning results. Two professional photographers interviewed by the Los Angeles Times suggested taking a few shots, then setting that phone down to experience the event without a device in front of your face. Just make sure to do so safely so as not to damage your eyes.
For serious photographers, check out the article here for tips and tricks on how to take a great photo of the event.
If you’re not satsifed with watching the partial Great American Eclipse, thanks to TIME you can start planning ahead, way ahead, to watch the moon shadow the sun again with this list of every solar eclipse to take place over the next 50 years.
City News Service contributed to this report.