Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Eclipse photos & vintage stills subject to copyright // Contributing photographs by: Adam Grimes & Becca Murray
It’s the Great American Total Solar Eclipse!! Unless you’ve been summer vacaying on another planet, I’m sure you’ve heard by now that we’re having a solar eclipse on Monday. A big one. Big because it’s the first time in a jillion years that America is in the path of totality (which means where the sun will be visible fully eclipsed). The last time the U.S. experienced a total eclipse of the sun from coast to coast was on June 8, 1918. And the last time a total eclipse touched ONLY American soil (like this one) was on June 13, 1257. Just to clarify, that’s the 13th century. So yeah…it’s kind of a big deal.
If you’re reading this, then I’m assuming you didn’t already book your ticket to Portland five years ago to ensure that you would be smack dab in the middle of the path of totality. If you had, you’d know that Pacific Northwesterners will enjoy two full minutes of 100% eclipsed sun and the mind-blowing mayhem that follows when massive crowds of people all discover together that, “It looks JUST LIKE NIGHT except it’s DAAAAAAAAAAY….!!!!” (Cue eye rolls from our fellow world citizens who live through months of Polar Nights each year. But listen, just let us laymen sun dwellers have our two minutes of fun!) By the way, if you suddenly feel the burning desire to make your way up to Portland to experience the total real deal, hotels are booked up and/or are astronomically (no pun intended) expensive now. But Siren Gina let us in on a HOT TIP: the Madras airport in Oregon still has camping spots available on the cheap and accessible. They’re throwing a whole organized festival with food, music and beer gardens. With NASA on site doing a live feed, you know you’re in good hands. https://www.bergair.com/solareclipse
Here’s the bad news for us Angelenos: LA will only be experiencing a partial eclipse. But here’s the good news: our daily sunny cloudless skies guarantee that we will actually be able to see this thing no matter what. The moon will cover about 62% of the sun’s surface starting at 9:05 am, peaking at 10:21 am and ending by 11:44 am. Which means you have to take extra precautions while you are viewing the event since the sun will never be completely hidden. Special glasses are required THE ENTIRE TIME to ensure that you don’t damage your eyes. Cameras, telescopes and binoculars also need special filters so that you don’t damage your equipment. (Regular sunglasses and filters do not meet safety standards. Don’t risk your eyeballs!) The American Astronomical Society created a list of vendors whose products have been safety tested and approved. And if you feel like getting old-school crafty, they also have instructions to make your own safe viewing projections. For an idea of what eclipse percentage you will see according to your zip code, check out this handy tool from VOX: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/7/25/16019892/solar-eclipse-2017-interactive-map.
So now with all our “safety first!” logistics covered, we just need to decide where to view this once-in-a-lifetime astronomical phenomenon! Rest assured, with LA’s instant access to mountains, city parks, science centers and open stretches of beach and desert, there’s no wrong place to view “The All-American Transcontinental Total Solar Eclipse”! Here’s our low-down on the best Solar Eclipse viewing events in Los Angeles…
Luckily, we have two of the best observatories in the country right in our own backyard and they are each throwing a major cosmic hoedown in celebration. Just be mindful that parking will be a nightmare, Lyft-ing included. (Imagine a city of 4 million people attempting to wind up one single lane of traffic!) Definitely be sure to get there early to beat the crowds. No outside telescopes allowed for these events, professionally manned telescopes will be provided.
Griffith Observatory: 2800 E. Observatory Road, Los Angeles. http://griffithobservatory.org/events/Special_Event_Partial_Eclipse_2017.html
Mount Wilson: Access to Mt. Wilson is via the Angeles Crest Highway (California Highway 2) from the 210 Freeway at La Cañada Flintridge. https://www.mtwilson.edu/events/
RANGER-LED PARK EVENTS~
If you’re feeling the call of the wild amongst our urban landscape, our National & State Park Services will be hosting free viewing events open to all ages at several beautiful parks across the county. Park rangers will lead solar eclipse and nature programs at each location.
Los Angeles State Historic Park: 1245 N. Spring St., Downtown LA. Arrive at the park directly or meet at the Gateway to Nature center at El Pueblo Historical Monument (130 Paseo de la Plaza) at 8:30 a.m. and walk over to the park with the rangers. Event held by California State Parks and Western National Parks Association. http://lashp.com
King Gillette Ranch: 26876 Mullholland Highway, Calabasas. Meet park rangers at 9:30am at Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center on the ground of King Gillette Ranch for their solar eclipse program. http://www.lamountains.com/parks.asp?parkid=670
If you ever wanted to party down with LA’s scientists, this is your moment! Los Angeles is teeming with state-of-the-art science and technology centers and experts ready to drop some deep solar eclipse knowledge at their viewing events!
California Institute of Technology (Pasadena): South Wilson Avenue between East Del Mar Bloulevard and San Pasqual Street, Pasadena. https://www.caltech.edu/content/solar-eclipse-viewing-party
California Science Center, Los Angeles: 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory representatives will be on hand. https://californiasciencecenter.org/headlines/solar-eclipse-festival-days
Glendale Community College Planetarium: 1500 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale. https://informal.jpl.nasa.gov/ museum/content/solar-eclipse- viewing-0
UCLA: 617 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles. Meet at the Court of Sciences. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla-scientists-invite-public-to-free-eclipse-watching-event
A favorite for children and adult kids of all ages, LA County Libraries mix education, crafts and solar viewing to get you back in touch with your child-like wonder.
County of Los Angeles Public Libraries: Seven LA County Libraries are hosting events which include free viewing glasses. https://colapublib.org/eclipse/
Want to hit the road to search out a more endless horizon? You live in California…just drive out in any direction and you can make all your beach, desert, mountain viewing dreams come true!
BEACHES: Basically any beach will give you an open expanse of sky to enjoy the eclipse from. So pick your favorite and make a day of it!
DESERT: Head out to Joshua Tree for a clear view as far as the eye can see! Our favorite desert retreat purveyors, Joshua Desert Retreats, have a bunch of affordable rental homes if you want to make a trip of it! https://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm
Big Bear Lake: 41220 Park Avenue, Big Bear Lake. The Big Bear Valley Astronomical society will be at the eastern parking lot of Big Bear Swim Beach. BONUS: 70% eclipse! http://www.bearvalleyastronomers.org
Mammoth Mountain: 1 Minaret Road, Mammoth Lakes. Eclipse event is held on the mountain’s 11,053 foot summit. Purchase a $23 ticket, which includes a gondola ride and viewing glasses. BONUS: 80% eclipse! https://www.mammothmountain.com/summer/things-to-do/events/event-detail?url=solar-eclipse-viewing-party&day=21&month=8&year=2017
A LITTLE ASTROLOGY~
Curious about what this eclipse is bringing us energetically? It’s all about A WHOLE NEW BEGINNING. The life that you are meant to be living is about to emerge, but we must collectively LET GO of any old ways of being that no longer serve us in order to allow the new life in. This is a major releasing time of everything that came before. Our job now is to be willing to walk through the doors that open and trust the doors that close. Know that you are being Divinely guided. Anything that has been hidden will come into the light so you can clearly see the desired path forward. Just remember to choose your best self and your best life when the moments arise.
FULL SOLAR ECLIPSE MEDITATION & JOURNAL PROMPTS: Take a moment to sit and contemplate what you are ready to let go of and what you would like to create moving forward. Write your answers down in a journal or meditate on them.
- What thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviors am I ready to release now in order to step into the life that I want?
- If anything was possible, what would I most want for myself and my life?
- How can I step more fully into my innate talents? How can I broaden my reach and my impact?
- Who would I have to be and what would I have to do to live the life of my dreams? What does that look like in the real day-to-day living?
- What are 5 ACTION STEPS I can take THIS WEEK to begin moving in the new direction I would like to be headed in?
Remember that the world (and you) are made of magic!!! HAPPY ECLIPSING!!!
xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels
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