Experience a Partial Solar Eclipse

Adults on campus using telescopes to look at an eclipse.
By Greg MacDonald

April 03, 2024 - 10:31 AM

Mt. SAC students, staff, and community members will be able to view an eclipse, which can be seen on Monday, April 8 beginning at 10:06 a.m.

The Mt. SAC - Randall Planetarium will be providing front row seats to all stargazers. 

“We’re expecting to see a partial eclipse with 49 percent of the sun covered by the moon at Mt. SAC,” said Heather Rookhuyzen, Planetarium Supervisor. “Elsewhere in the United States — such as in parts of Texas and Arkansas — they will be able to see 100 percent of the sun covered by the moon, which we call a total solar eclipse. To see a total solar eclipse, you have to be at the right place at the right time to be in the center of the moon’s shadow.

“Here in Southern California, we’ll be on the edge of the moon’s shadow, so we’ll see a partial eclipse instead of a total eclipse, but it should still be a spectacular show.”

A previous eclipse was seen on campus on the morning of Oct. 14. This streak of eclipses, however, will end.

“We won’t be able to see another partial solar eclipse from Southern California again until January 2029,” Rookhuyzen said.

To celebrate this partial solar eclipse, the Planetarium is playing host to a day full of free shows, starting at 9 a.m. 

But the show on centerstage will be the eclipse, and those looking up will need the proper protection.

“Regular sunglasses are not strong enough to protect your eyes. Staring at the sun, you can damage your eyes,” Rookhuyzen said. “If you need eclipse shades, they are going to be loaned out for free for Mt. SAC students and staff or we will be selling them for $3 each or $5 for a pair.”

Seats are given on a first-come, first-served basis, so plan to arrive on time. Bringing sunblock, lawn chairs, and hats is also encouraged for attendees.

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