The total solar eclipse that will take place on Monday, August 21, is one of the biggest astronomical events to affect our area in decades. Much of the country will experience some level of darkness, including a swath across the continent that is in the “path of totality,” where observers can see the moon completely block the sun. The path of totality will move across Oregon, landing just north of Eugene.
Looking at the sun can cause permanent eye damage. Because Eugene will be out of the path of totality, the sun will never be fully blocked here. AT NO TIME DURING THE ECLIPSE IN EUGENE WILL IT BE SAFE TO VIEW THE SUN WITHOUT PROTECTIVE GLASSES.
Even so, 99% of the sun will be obscured in Eugene, which means it will be very dark for several minutes. Locally, the eclipse will happen during the time window listed below:
Thousands of people from around the world will be traveling to Oregon for this event, and our area will likely experience traffic congestion and possibly shortages of various necessities. If you haven’t already, you may want to think about how the eclipse may affect what you do, and plan ahead. For example, be sure that:
If you have already planned for a place to view the eclipse in the path of totality, you are strongly encouraged to travel there well in advance of Monday, and stay awhile. State agencies report that all lodging rooms and campsites within the path of totality are fully booked.
Traffic is expected to be extremely heavy and congested shortly before and after the eclipse. Be prepared to be stuck in traffic if you are traveling around the state at that time; even local streets will likely be affected.
If you plan to watch the eclipse from Eugene, you’ll just need to step out into an area that doesn’t have buildings or trees blocking your view of the sun. (By 10:17 a.m. the sun is fairly high in the sky, but still slightly to the east). If you’d like to join a group to watch, we know of these eclipse parties locally:
Please be aware that all Eugene Public Library locations will delay opening until 10:30 a.m. on Monday, August 21, in honor of the first total solar eclipse over the U.S. in 38 years.
Another website with great information about different phenomena associated with solar eclipses: http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/what_you_see.htm