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Oregon’s Total Eclipse


Photo Credit: Courtesy Mark Margolis / Rainbow Symphony

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will darken skies across the U.S. (from Oregon to South Carolina) along a 70-mile-wide path. Within this “path of totality,” the sun will completely disappear behind the moon for up to two minutes and 40 seconds! Outside the path, observers will still see a partial solar eclipse.

By now, you’ve probably heard that Oregon is expected to be a popular destination as tourists flock here to catch a glimpse of this celestial phenomenon. For many, it will be the first time they see a total solar eclipse — the last time one was visible from the continental U.S. was back in 1979! To see which Oregon cities fall within the path of totality, check out our state map from NASA.

The eclipse will grace the Oregon coast around 10:15 a.m. and depart through our eastern border by 10:27 a.m. It will reach its peak — an “almost total” eclipse at 99.3% sun coverage — in the Portland Metro Area about 10:19 a.m.

If you’re planning to watch the eclipse, it’s extremely important to protect your children’s eyes as well as your own. Staring at the sun — even during partial phases of the eclipse — is damaging to our sensitive eyes! Make sure to use eclipse glasses that fit well or handheld solar viewers (a good option for younger kids), both of which can be purchased online. See the American Astronomical Society’s list of reputable vendors. We’ve also put together a list of helpful resources below.

Fun Facts

  • The is the first total eclipse to travel the U.S. coast to coast since 1918!
  • This is the first total eclipse visible only from the United States!
    • This last happened in 1257 before we became a country!
  • The eclipse will travel 27 miles per minute, or 1,600 mph!
  • Oregon is the first land the eclipse will touch!
  • The total eclipse will travel through 14 states total: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina!

Helpful Resources