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Happenings

There’s a Total Lunar Eclipse on January 31 and Griffith Observatory is Hosting a Public Viewing Event

January 23, 2018 by Karin E. Baker

A total lunar eclipse will occur on January 31, 2018 and this blood moon will be a supermoon and fully visible in Los Angeles.

So where would one go in L.A. to find an ideal view of such an event? Griffith Park, of course. Specifically, the Griffith Observatory, which will host a free public viewing in the wee hours of the morning from 3:45 to 7:00 a.m (weather permitting!). Observatory employees and local volunteers will staff telescopes and binoculars to help visitors enjoy superior viewing of the moon during eclipse time. According to timeanddate.com, the maximum eclipse will occur at approximately 5:29 a.m.

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The Observatory grounds and its parking lot will open at 3:45 a.m., as will the cart for The Café at the End of the Universe. The Observatory building will be closed during the viewing.

Lunar eclipse from Griffith Observatory

Lunar eclipse as seen from Griffith Observatory. Photo by Michael R. Perry via flickr cc

Moderate-to-large crowds are expected, and as always at the Observatory in recent years, parking will be limited. If you aim to attend be prepared for road congestion and long uphill walks to the Observatory. Lawn furniture will not be allowed, but you’re welcome to bring a blanket, which you may need with overnight lows expected in the high 40’s or low 50’s. If rain is forecast for the eclipse as of Tuesday, January 30, at 3:00 p.m., the Observatory will cancel the event. Be sure to check out the Griffith Observatory website for possible notice of cancelation before attending.

Keep in mind if skies are clear the eclipse should be visible to the naked eye throughout SoCal. It’s safe to view a lunar eclipse without eye protection, and a telescope is not necessary. This particular blood moon will be the only lunar eclipse visible in L.A. until 2019.

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