Solar and Lunar Eclipses for North America, Oregon, the Coast
(Portland, Oregon) – It's a double whammy of stellar stuff in October as not one but two eclipses will be in the skies in October, visible all over North America – including Oregon, Portland and the coast.
Jim Todd, planetarium manager at OMSI in Portland, said the first happens on October 8 with a lunar eclipse, and then a partial solar eclipse takes a bite out of our star on October 23. The lunar eclipse happens just before dawn, turning the orb a pretty shade of orange-red. Fifteen days later, on the afternoon of October 23, the New Moon passes in front of the Sun and blocks up to 81 percent of our star from view.
“A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon line up,” Todd said. “During such times, the Moon passes through Earth’s shadow, and where it passes determines the type of eclipse we’ll see.”
This one won't completely darken and fade away. Instead, Todd said that for 58 minutes the only light hitting the moon will be the reddish glow from all of Earth's sunrises and sunsets. It will be visible in Asia, Australia, Pacific and the Americas as well.
About 1:15 a.m. a shadow will start to take a chunk out of the Moon. The partial eclipse ends and totality begins at 3:27 am and the point of the greatest eclipse occurs at 3:55 am.
If weather permits, a free viewing of the eclipse happens at 1 a.m. at Milo McIver State Park in Estacada with the Rose City Astronomers, and Oregon Parks and Recreations will have telescopes set up for attendees to use. OMSI Space Science Director, Jim Todd, will be presenting informal talks about the lunar eclipse and the autumn night sky.
On October 23, our satellite casts its shadow onto most of North America and the eastern tip of Siberia. The Moon passes in front of the Sun bringing a partial eclipse to the Pacific Northwest.
For Portland, the eclipse gets underway at 1:37 pm when the Moon makes first contact with the Sun. The maximum eclipse accords at 3:02 pm when the Moon covers 61 percent of the Sun's diameter at 26 degrees above the western horizon. The partial eclipse will end at 4:23 pm as the Moon exits.
Todd urged you should not view any of this eclipse without eye protection. Even during the partial eclipse, the Sun shines brightly enough to damage your eyes if the eclipse is observed without a protective filter. Use only an approved solar filter which blocks dangerous ultraviolet and infrared radiation as well as visible light. If you plan to watch the eclipse through binoculars or a telescope, you must use an approved solar filter that fits over the front end of your instrument. The special solar filter viewing glasses are available at the OMSI Science Store (503-797-4626).
OMSI and Rose City Astronomers Club will host a partial solar eclipse viewing party at the south parking lot of OMSI on Thursday, October 23. The free event will begin at 1:30 pm and end at 4:30 pm. Filtered solar telescopes will be available for safe viewing of the Sun. Filtered solar telescopes will be available for safely viewing the Sun.
If weather permits, viewing will be amazing along the Oregon coast for both.
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