Tips for Tonight's Eclipse on Oregon Coast
(Oregon Coast) - Will the Oregon coast, much less much of Oregon, get to see the unusual lunar eclipse tonight? (above: Cannon Beach last night around 10 p.m., lit up by a full moon and numerous stars)
That, if you forgive the pun, is “up in the air,” as clouds and all sorts of weather systems seem to be zipping through the sky tonight. At least on the north coast, from Manzanita northwards, the sky is opening up in spurts to show the full midnight blue of moonlight, while other times the sky opens up in the other sense: pouring down like cats and dogs.
It’s going tobe an unusual one too, as you’ll see the moon turn a funky orange. (Above: a partial eclipse captured last spring in Portland).
What may work in coastal residents’ favor is that the moon at this hour is to the east, towards the mountains, a section of the sky that seems to be less of a problem and a little clearer. However, since the bulk of the eclipse happens around midnight, the moon will be to the south.
The partial eclipse stage will begin slowly at around 9:30 p.m., and then around 10:30 p.m. the umbral shadow will start to take a small, dark bite out of the left part of the moon. According to OMSI in Portland, for 68 minutes of the partial phase of this event, the dark will be encroaching more and more, until you’ll see total eclipse beginning around 11:40 p.m., with the greatest point being around 12:16 a.m. That will last for about 73 minutes.
Last night in Seaside
The total eclipse will end at 12:54 a.m. on December 21 as the moon exits the umbra. Then at 2:01 a.m., you’ll see the moon exit the Earth's umbral shadow and the penumbral eclipse ends at 3:04 a.m. in the Oregon area, Pacific Standard Time.
The moon will be 66 degrees above the southern horizon at the instant of the greatest eclipse, which will pose some unfortunate results for those on the coast who will be trying to photograph it, as the winds are currently whipping up heavily from the south. In order to hide from these winds and keep tripods and other equipment steady, you’d have to get just on the north face of large headlands like Tillamook Head in Seaside, Cape Foulweather near Newport or just below the north side of Yaquina Head. This, unfortunately, would likely block your view of the event.
So it is advised to get as close behind such large rocky formations as you can without blocking your view. These also include the Neahkahnie Mountain near Manzanita, the north side of Cape Kiwanda at Pacific City, Arch Cape, Neskowin and Cape Perpetua near Yachats.
Weather patterns are changing drastically on the coast this evening, so be patient as the sky may open up periodically.
Big Dipper above Newport
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