The eclipse will cut across the entire United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, making it a unique occurrence.
“The last time a total solar eclipse crossed the U.S. from West Coast to East Coast was back in 1918,” said OCC astronomy instructor, Dr. Jerome Fang. “Where we are located, we will only see a partial eclipse, but it’s still nice because everyone in the country will be able to see something.”
OCC’s event will take place on the west side of the school’s Adams Parking Lot and will begin at 8:30 a.m. In Costa Mesa, the eclipse will peak around 10:20 a.m. PDT, as the moon obscures approximately 61 percent of the sun.
The celestial event occurs as construction continues on the OCC Planetarium, which has an estimated completion date of Summer 2018. The new state-of-the-art facility has begun to take shape over the summer, with a concrete dome erected in early July, and a recent $1 million dollar donation that will fund the Planetarium’s Foucault Pendulum.
In the future, the College hopes to host solar and lunar eclipse viewing events that include special shows in its 125-seat immersion theatre, and which will utilize an adjacent telescope farm.
“Once the Planetarium is built, there will be a lot more opportunity to educate the community about our planetary system,” said Dr. Fang. “We will be able to tailor shows that specifically talk about why events like this occur, bring in guest speakers, and more.”
For the Aug. 21 event, OCC’s astronomy department will provide approximately eight solar telescopes so that those in attendance can fully view sun. It is not safe to look directly at the sun without special solar telescopes or glasses.
Parking for the event is free. For more information about OCC’s astronomy department visit https://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/academics/divisions/math_science/astronomy/
What: Solar Eclipse Viewing Event
When: Monday, Aug. 21
8 a.m. until Noon
Where: Orange Coast College – Adams Parking Lot
Adams Avenue between Fairview Road and Harbor Blvd.