City News - Homepage

Posted on: August 7, 2017

Plan Ahead for the Solar Eclipse

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:

  • Start of partial eclipse in Eugene: August 21 at 9:04 a.m.
  • Maximum eclipse: 10:17 a.m.
  • End of eclipse: 11:37 a.m.

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:

  • You have the proper eye wear to protect yourself and your family during the eclipse; homemade filters and ordinary sunglasses are not safe for viewing the sun. Inexpensive protective glasses are available from The Science Factory ($1.50) and other local retailers, and they're cheap insurance against permanent eye damage.
  • You have plenty of supplies in advance, including food, gas, prescription medications, etc.

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:

  • City of Eugene Solar Eclipse Watch Party at Skinner Butte
    Monday, August 21, 8:30 a.m. – noon at Skinner Butte, 248 Cheshire Ave. City of Eugene Recreation offers a shuttle to the top of the butte and information about the eclipse. Eclipse glasses available for purchase. For more information call 541-682-5318.
  • Total Eclipse of the Sun Celebration at South Eugene High
    Monday, August 21, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. at South Eugene High School/YMCA field, 400 East 19th Ave. Lane County Medical Society, Eugene Family YMCA, and Oregon Eye Consultants present “a morning of science and fun for all ages” including music and snacks. Eclipse glasses available free.

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.

Additional information 

Another website with great information about different phenomena associated with solar eclipses:

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email

Other News in City News - Homepage