Not since 1992 and not again until 2015 will there be an opportunity to witness an eclipse of the sun such as the one coming on Sunday.
While residents in the northwest will get the best views, we’ll still have a pretty good show here in Orange County.
“At around 5:15 p.m., we’ll start to see a bite taken out of the sun,” said Seal Beach astronomer Michael Beckage. “What we will have is a deep partial eclipse here.”
As seen from Earth, the moon and sun will be lined up, with the moon blocking out part of the sun. The result will be a bright "ring of fire'' around the dark disk of the moon. From the Southland's vantage point, however, the moon will not be exactly centered on the sun, so the 2 1/2-hour eclipse will be partial rather than full.
Experts warn observers never to look directly at even a partially eclipsed sun without special protective glasses or viewers designed to shield the eyes from solar radiation.
Starting at 5:30 p.m., in Seal Beach will host a free viewing party adjacent to the pier in which Beckage will provide high-powered and filtered telescopes to safely view the eclipse.
“In addition to the eclipse, we’ll probably see sun spots and solar flares,” said Beckage.
For those not attending a viewing party, precautions are necessary for those hoping to see the eclipse.
"Sunglasses are not enough,'' said Laura Danly, curator at the Griffith Observatory. "You can damage your retinas if you look directly at the sun for any length of time. It's very risky – it can lead to blindness."
To view the eclipse safely, create a pinhole camera, which projects the image of the eclipse, so you don’t have to look directly at the sun.
- City News Service contributed to this report.