Countdown to Solar Eclipse 2017

Oregon is one of the best places to view the rare total solar eclipse

Zachary Senn | 8/16/2017, 4:39 p.m.
Oregonians across the state are making plans to view the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21.
A rare glimpse of a total solar eclipse happens next Monday.

Oregonians across the state are making plans to view the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. State leaders, meanwhile, are preparing to host as many as 1 million visitors from outside. Officials are warning of massive traffic delays, crowded accommodations and a high risk of wildfires.

The path of totality, where the eclipse’s effects can be fully viewed, will begin in Lincoln City and travel inland across the state, stretching over Salem, Madras, and John Day. The eclipse will be partially visible, however, in the Portland Metro area.

The eclipse will begin at 9:05 a.m. in Lincoln City and Salem, and the skies will continue to darken until totality is reached at 10:18 a.m. The eclipse will end at 11:41 a.m. In eastern cities, such as John Day, the eclipse will reach totality as much as six minutes later.

Health experts say that the eclipse should not be viewed with the naked eye. Looking directly at the sun, even when it is obscured, could cause temporary blindness and permanent eye damage. Specially certified eclipse glasses are currently being sold throughout the state.

During totality, the eclipse can be viewed with the naked eye. Totality will last for less than two minutes throughout the state, and will not be visible in the Portland region. Finding specially produced eclipse glasses is the best way to prevent injury and enjoy the astral event.

Path of the solar eclipse through Oregon.

Path of the solar eclipse through Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) says that commuters and eclipse viewers alike should plan for three days of traffic backups, and advise against travelling on the day of the eclipse itself. ODOT also warns that big-rigs and other interstate transports will still be on the roads, and may exacerbate delays.

Events will be held for the eclipse throughout the state, including a three-day celebration at the State Capitol in Salem. The Salem Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing a special eclipse concert on the Capitol grounds, and Rose City Astronomer President Margaret Mcrea will be narrating the eclipse as it occurs. All events at the Oregon State Capitol will be admission-free.