People throughout Southern California gathered individually and in groups Sunday to take in the enthralling view of a late afternoon solar eclipse.
The eclipse started at 5:24 p.m. and ended at 7:42 p.m., according to Griffith Observatory officials.
A solar eclipse happens when the moon moves in front of the sun from a particular viewpoint on Earth, obstructing a portion of the sun's visibility
for a time.
At its peak at 6:38 p.m., Sunday's eclipse made 85-percent of the sun invisible to greater Los Angeles.
It was the most complete solar eclipse this region will experience until 2071, when a 91-percent eclipse will be seen, according to a variety of sources.
They also predict a 78-percent solar eclipse to happen here on Oct. 14, 2023, and back-to-back 83-percent eclipses to be on display Aug. 22, 2044 and
Aug. 12, 2045.
A throng of eclipse-watchers congregated on the grounds of Griffith Observatory, where telescopes were set up and staff members offered commentary on the rare event.
Thousands of people took to the coasts to get a glimpse of the eclipse, including at Venice Beach, where scores of onlookers created a carnival-like atmosphere.
The last time such an event took place in this region was in 1992, observatory curator Laura Danly said.
"We depend on the sun to be there the same way every day, so when something happens to disrupt the sun and it gets blacked out, it's kind of freaky," Danly said.
Long ago, before science explained such events, eclipses were unsettling
occurrences to people who viewed them.
"For people who didn't know what it was, it was frightening," Danly said.
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