Total Solar Eclipse in One Year Gives Oregon Coast Extra Time
Published 08/22/2016 at 5:51 AM PDT - Updated 08/22/2016 at 6:51 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – One year from now (August 21, to be exact), one of the more spectacular total solar eclipses in recent history will happen in Oregon and some other parts of the U.S. It's already filling up lodgings for that distant day in and around the central coast, as well as parts of the Willamette Valley. (Above: a solar eclipse in 2012, seen from Oregon)
Oregon will be in that center line for the total eclipse, with some parts of the valley and the coast getting the longest total coverage in the west. Depoe Bay and Lincoln Beach (not to be confused with Lincoln City) will have the most time in darkness in this region with one minute and 58 seconds of eclipse time.
Newport and Lincoln City will also get to see the moon totally blocking the sun, as well as Salem, Dallas, Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, Philomath, McMinnville, and Woodburn.
The actual center line of the eclipse is at Depoe Bay. Each of the towns in Oregon seeing totality will vary in duration, based on their distance from that line, according to Jim Todd, astronomy expert at Portland's OMSI.
The first moment Oregon gets to see of it happens between Moolack Beach and the Devil's Punchbowl.
“On the beach in Oregon, just north of Newport, the shadow will first touch land at about 10:15 a.m.,” Todd said. “People there will experience a full minute and fifty seconds of totality.“
The longest period of eclipse happens in Illinois, at two minutes and 41 seconds.
Most of Oregon should get a great show, but Portland and Eugene won't quite reach totality, Todd said, along with much of the Pacific Northwest.
“Instead, they will witness a partial eclipse ranging from 88 percent to 99 percent,” Todd said.
This should mean that even northern towns like Seaside, Cannon Beach or Manzanita, or more southern coast spots like Yachats, Bandon or Florence, will see a nearly completely pitch black sun.
A flurry of lodging reservations already started along the central Oregon coast last year. It may be difficult to find lodging even now – but you can find plenty of central coast places to stay here.
Salem will host a large viewing party via OMSI at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on that day. Tickets go on sale on August 25, 2016: http://omsi.edu/eclipse-2017. The Solar Eclipse Viewing Party will include science lectures, astronomy-related community groups, entertainment, and more.
“In only two minutes, the shadow will race eastward toward its first date with a large population of people who will be breathlessly awaiting its arrival,” Todd said. “At the Oregon State Fairgrounds, we will be treated to one minute and 53 seconds of shadow at just after 10:17 a.m.”
From Salem and the valley, the eclipse heads through central Oregon and arrives at the mountains, Madras and Warm Springs at about 10:19 a.m. Prairie City and Mitchell happen next, Todd said, and then the shadow leaves the state just north of Ontario. After Illinois gets to bask in the lack-of-sun for that longest duration, South Carolina is the last in the U.S. to see it. The west coast of Africa and the Atlantic Ocean will see the end of the eclipse.
Todd urged extreme caution for this event.
“Only look at the sun when it is 100 percent covered,” he said. “You must use special solar viewing glasses whenever the sun isn’t completely eclipsed or it may cause irreparable eye damage. Viewing Party tickets include solar viewing glasses. Solar eclipse glasses are currently available for purchase in the OMSI Science Store for guests unable to attend the viewing party.”
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