Get a front row seat for the solar eclipse at the Planetarium

Mt. SAC students looking through a telescope.
By Greg MacDonald

October 09, 2023 - 09:41 AM

For the first time since August 2017, Mt. SAC students, staff, and community members will be able to view an eclipse on campus. 

And the Mt. SAC - Randall Planetarium wants to provide front row seats to all stargazers on the morning of Oct. 14. 

“We’re very excited to have such a beautiful celestial event happen in our area again,” said Heather Rookhuyzen, Planetarium Supervisor. “The upcoming eclipse will be a partial eclipse for Southern California and for other parts of the U.S., this eclipse will be seen as an annular eclipse, where the moon does not completely cover the sun but will cover most of it with a thin ring of the sun, or annulus, visible around the moon. 

“Here at Mt. SAC, we are expecting to see 78 percent of the sun blocked by the moon.” 

To celebrate the annular eclipse, the Planetarium is playing host to a day full of activities, shows, and food, starting at 7:30 a.m. Breaks in the shows and activities to allow for viewing the celestial event will take place at 8:08 a.m., when the eclipse begins, at 9:24 a.m., when the maximum eclipse occurs, and at 10:50 a.m., when the partial eclipse ends. 

Student looking through a telescope.“Throughout the eclipse we will be featuring free planetarium shows and safe solar telescope viewing of the eclipse,” Rookhuyzen said. “We’ll also have eclipse glasses available for Mt. SAC students and the community.”

Eclipse glasses will be $3 for one or $5 for two pair. Students with a current ID will be able to check out a pair of eclipse glasses for free while supplies last. 

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs, hats, and plenty of sunscreen. Extra spending cash also is encouraged, as several student clubs and a variety of food trucks will be selling food.

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