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Partial solar eclipse: How and where to watch Thursday

The world's first partial solar eclipse of 2011 is seen on January 4, 2011 in Liptovsky Mikulas, central Slovakia.  Europe was given a front-row seat to the first solar eclipse of 2011 only to find that in many places a thick curtain of cloud marred the spectacle..AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
The world's first partial solar eclipse of 2011 is seen on January 4, 2011 in Liptovsky Mikulas, central Slovakia. Southern Californians will have a good view of the partial solar eclipse on Oct. 23, 2014.

A partial solar eclipse will take place Thursday afternoon when the moon will cover 45 percent of the sun's diameter and 34 percent of the sun's area.

Southern California will actually have some of the better viewing as the sun will be down in the east by the time the eclipse happens and Northern California will be cloudy, according to the weather forecast

To find out how and where to watch the partial solar eclipse, check out some FAQs below.

When exactly is the eclipse taking place?

The key events are as follows:

  • 2:07 p.m. Eclipse begins
  • 3:27 p.m. Maximum eclipse
  • 4:39 p.m. Eclipse ends

Where can I watch the eclipse?

Griffith Observatory will be open for free public viewing of the rare eclipse on Thursday.

"Weather permitting, dozens of telescopes will be staffed by Observatory staff and local astronomy club members to provide visitors with safe viewing opportunities of the Sun during the partial solar eclipse," the observatory said.

Can a partial solar eclipse be viewed with the naked eye or sunglasses?

No. A solar eclipse, even a partial one, requires proper eye protection for viewing, the Griffith Observatory said in a statement about the event. Regular sunglasses will not be enough.

Griffith Observatory will have eclipse eyewear for sale at their gift shop during the event.

How can I safely view the eclipse outside on my own?

Sky & Telescope has tips on how to safely view the eclipse. 

What if I can't get outside to safely view the eclipse?

Griffith Observatory will have a live webcast of the partial solar eclipse on Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.