The Thursday, Oct. 23, partial solar eclipse offers North American viewers an opportunity to see the sun and moon align in a dramatic celestial spectacle.
Never look directly at the sun. View the eclipse safely by using proper protective equipment or by following the techniques described.
In Southern California, the event will begin at 2:08 p.m., with the midpoint at 3:28 p.m., and the eclipse ending at 4:40 p.m. At midpoint, 34 percent of the sun will be obscured by the moon.
To view the eclipse safely, make a pinhole projector. With a pin or the tip of a sharp pencil, poke a small hole in a piece of thick paper and face it toward the sun. Hold a second piece of paper three or four feet away, adjusting the papers until you can see an image of the eclipsed sun projected from the pinhole onto the second piece of paper. Do not look directly at the sun; look at the projected image only.
Depending on your location, you may be able to see a similar effect in the shadows of tree leaves.
The only way to directly view the eclipse is to use #13 or #14 arc-welders glass or to purchase eclipse glasses made for solar viewing specifically. Other materials, including lower-numbered welders glass, are not safe. Read more about solar filters at Sky & Telescope's solar filter safety page.
For more information about the eclipse, visit Sky & Telescope's description of the event.