A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks out the sun. Unlike lunar eclipses that occur only during full moons, a solar eclipse can only occur during a new moon. Notice in the diagram how the moon’s shadow projected on the Earth is quite small. This means that solar eclipses are visible from only a small area on Earth. Solar eclipses also happen about twice a year on average. During totality, stars and planets become visible due to the darkness of the sky without the sun’s light. Total solar eclipses are also a rare opportunity to glimpse the thin solar corona; a wispy veil of ultra-hot plasma that surrounds our star. Learn more from NASA’s Solar Eclipse page.
Solar Eclipse of October 14, 2023
The eclipse is annular from Oregon to southern Texas. It will be a partial eclipse in Los Angeles:
Eclipse starts: 8:08 a.m., PDT
Maximum eclipse: 9:24 a.m., PDT (Moon covers 78% of sun’s diameter, 71% of sun’s area).
Eclipse ends: 10:50 a.m., PDT
For more information on the Observatory’s eclipse activities on October 14, check out our eclipse event page!
Solar Eclipse of April 8, 2024
The path of totality crosses a swath through Mexico, then across the eastern half of the U.S. (from Texas to Maine) and into Canada (Nova Scotia). This will be the last total eclipse in the U.S. for more than 20 years. In Los Angeles, it will be a partial eclipse:
Eclipse starts: 10:06 a.m., PDT
Maximum eclipse: 11:12 a.m., PDT (Moon covers 57% of sun’s diameter, 49% of sun’s area).
Eclipse ends: 12:21 p.m., PDT
Viewing the Total Eclipse: Join Griffith Observatory Foundation on an eclipse trip to México or Texas to view totality in 2024. Both trips along the path of totality and guided by Griffith Observatory staff astronomers. For more info, check out the eclipse trip page!