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April 2024 Partial Solar Eclipse Coming to Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

Published 2/12/24 at 4:55 a.m.
B
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

April 2024 Partial Solar Eclipse Coming to Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

(Oregon Coast) – Yet another total solar eclipse is headed for the U.S., and a bit of it is coming to the Washington coast and Oregon coast. Portland, Medford and Seattle will also get in on the action, but eastern Oregon will get to see more of it. (Above photo collage: NASA. Oregon and Washington's eclipse will look more like the first two)

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On April 8, between 11:20 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., in and around 21% of the sun gets blocked along western Oregon and Washington, while other parts of middle America and the NE coastline will get to see the full solar eclipse.

According to Jim Todd of Portland's OMSI, the duration of totality for this one is a full 4 minutes and 27 seconds, which is almost double what we got to see in Oregon back in 2017. Coos Bay and much of the south Oregon coast will get to see the most of the coastlines at some 23% - about what Portland will see. Long Beach up to about Ocean City on the Washington shoreline will not quite get 20%.

That's not saying much, either: don't look for a darkening of the skies, like the region's 2017 eclipse. However, looking at it with the right filters or taking pictures at the right exposures will result in seeing a bit of a crescent taken out of the sun. An example of that – taken by NASA – is at the top.

Still, the partial solar eclipse over Washington and Oregon will be awesome enough with the right shades – but you will absolutely need the correct filter glasses.


2017 eclipse, Oregon Coast Beach Connection

“The 2017 total solar eclipse was witnessed by about 20 million people from Oregon to South Carolina, and the upcoming 2024 total solar eclipse is sure to be witnessed by many millions more,” Todd said. “To see the full event on April 8, need to make your way to a spot in the path of totality, which will pass over Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, as well as parts of Mexico and Canada. A much broader region from as far north as the Arctic Circle to the southern Pacific Ocean will experience a partial solar eclipse.”

On the Oregon coast, the three areas Todd pointed out for times and coverage were:

Astoria - 11:25 a.m. at 20%

Newport - 11:22 a.m. at 21%

Coos Bay - 11:18 a.m. at 23%

Duration times will be similar to Portland.

There, Todd said, it will be around for about an hour and 46 minutes.

“The partial eclipse gets underway at 10:33 a.m. when the Moon makes first contact with the Sun,” Todd said. “The maximum eclipse occurs at 11:25 a.m. when the Moon covers 23 percent of the Sun's diameter at 45 degrees above the southeastern horizon.”

Oregon and Washington's 2024 partial solar eclipse ends at 12:19 p.m. as the moon veers out of the way of the sun.

For Oregon, Todd said the farther east you go the more eclipse you'll get to see. Ontario, Oregon will get to witness some 33%.

In Portland, you can get the special shades from OMSI.

“Most importantly, do not view any of this eclipse without eye protection,” Todd said. “Even during the partial phase, the Sun shines brightly enough to damage your eyes if the eclipse is observed without a protective filter. Use only an approved solar filter that blocks dangerous ultraviolet and infrared radiation and visible light.”

Even with a fair amount of cloud cover, pro photographers should be able to catch some good crescent sun action, as Darren White did in Bandon this past summer during the annular eclipse.


Transit of Venus: the black dot is Venus

If you have the right equipment, shooting the solar eclipse through cloud cover is often not that difficult. Oregon Coast Beach Connection snapped a good capture of the transit of Venus across the sun in the 2010s, which was actually easier to get through cloud cover using a digital 35 mm. You simply stop down the exposure until it is no longer whiting out the view screen.

What is critical here for eye safety is look at the sun ONLY through the digital screen and not through the viewfinder.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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