Manzanar: Solar Eclipse Viewing Party

Watch Solar Eclipse at Manzanar National Historic Site

Local residents can participate in a close encounter with the Aug. 21 solar eclipse by joining the free eclipse viewing party on the grounds of the Manzanar National Historic Site, located between Independence and Lone Pine.

Most of the excitement surrounding this rare celestial event has centered on areas where the sun will be completely blocked out by the moon, “totality,” in eclipse lingo. Inyo County will experience about 75 percent of “totality,” which will make the eclipse a memorable sight.

The Manzanar viewing party will feature a large telescope trained on the sun and moon, which should provide a unique view of the event. “Eclipse glasses” that will allow people to safely watch the event with the naked eye will be available. A number of volunteers will be on hand to help explain the eclipse and make sure everyone can view it safely. The telescope and designated viewing area will be located near the Manzanar Visitor Center and a short walk from the parking lot. According to Ursula Esser, Business Manager for Manzanar History Association and the Visitor Center Bookstore, “this is a great opportunity to host local school kids and other visitors for this celestial party. We are excited to host the event and hope to offer more educational programs in the future.”

People are asked to gather inside the Manzanar Visitor Center at 9 a.m. to get a short introduction to the basics of the eclipse and a discussion about how the viewing party will proceed.

The eclipse will begin to take place shortly after 9 a.m., but there will be plenty of time to see the slowly unfolding phenomenon. There will also be opportunities for shadow play and similar activities for children and students. The sun and moon will slowly converge, with the “peak” of the eclipse being reached at about 10:24 a.m. This is when about 75 percent of the sun will be “blocked.” Then the two celestiall bodies will proceed on their divergent paths, and won’t be completely separated until about 11:48 a.m.

The viewing party is being sponsored by the non-profit Manzanar History Association (MHA), the
Manzanar National Historic Site and the Friends of the Eastern California Museum, who are providing the telescope.

Eclipse Viewing Party
When: Monday, Aug. 21 (9am-11:30am)
Manzanar National Historic Site, located between Independence and Lone Pine.
Cost: Free
Questions: Ursula Esser, Business Manager, phone: 831-402- 0192, email