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Aug 17

Prepare for the Aug. 21 Eclipse

Posted on August 17, 2017 at 1:41 PM by Ben Schorzman

Total Solar Eclipse stages

The Great American Eclipse is days away from creating temporary darkness during the mid-morning hours of Monday, Aug. 21.


With the arrival of such a momentous astronomical event there has also been a cacophony of stories on the roughly 1.5-hours where the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun to create the first total solar eclipse to traverse the United States in 99 years. Every media organization, business and government organization, it seems, in the path of totality has chimed in on what to expect Aug. 21.


(Here’s a big hint: traffic. It started Wednesday in Bend)


If battling the crowds doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, join Eugene Rec at the top of Skinner Butte for a watchparty. It’s free, and the road to the top is blocked off except for shuttle busses, so dealing with traffic won’t be an issue. Ride your bike, or park downtown and enjoy a stroll up for what should be a great location to watch the show.


In general, the City of Eugene is asking people to plan ahead for the big day so when darkness falls, you’ll be where you want to and have the supplies necessary to wait out any traffic snarls and the inevitable short-term shortages of basics like gas, food and water.


Here in Eugene, we’re just south of the path of totality, meaning we won’t quite get full blockage of the moon in front of the sun. We’re about as close as you can be, though — 99.33 percent. The difference, while small, does mean one very important thing to anyone planning on tilting their heads skyward, though: DO NOT TAKE OFF YOUR ECLIPSE GLASSES. You’ll need proper protective glasses to view the eclipse, but because the sun is never fully blocked, the harmful rays can still cause sever retina damage if you stare directly at our star. Here’s NASA’s safety page to make sure you know what to do.


Many local stores are selling out of their glasses, but there are still places. The Register-Guard had informative stories on being aware of fake eclipse glasses and where to get real ones.


Here are some other links to help you get all the info on the upcoming eclipse:


-From day one, the greatamericaneclipse.com has been a standout resource.

-The Register-Guard has covered the eclipse from every angle in the last month, and it ran a wonderful graphic this week that has everything you need to know if you live in Oregon.

-Time has a cool graphic where you can see what the eclipse will look like from any location in the United States.

-There are many resources for reading all about the eclipse. The New York Times has a great collection of stories and graphics.

-And of course, check out NASA’s eclipse 2017 page. You’ll be thoroughly informed.

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