On Aug. 21, 2017, people across the United States will see the sun disappear behind the moon, turning daylight into twilight, causing the temperature drop rapidly and revealing massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the moon. On that day, America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse .
The so-called Great American Total Solar Eclipse will darken skies all the way from Oregon to South Carolina, along a stretch of land about 70 miles wide. People who descend upon this “path of totality” for the big event are in for an unforgettable experience.
Although Portland won’t be within total blackness, it will still be an amazing experience. We’ll see a 99 percent eclipse, where the moon will cover most – but not all – of the sun; without having to fight unprecedented traffic and crowds. State officials are urging travelers to leave days in advance, to expect some chaos and to bring emergency supplies.
Lots of people! Everyone in the contiguous United States, in fact, everyone in North America plus parts of South America, Africa, and Europe will see at least a partial solar eclipse, while the thin path of totality will pass through portions of 14 states.
You never want to look directly at the sun without appropriate protection except during totality. That could severely hurt your eyes. However, there are many ways to safely view an eclipse of the sun including direct viewing – which requires some type of filtering device and indirect viewing where you project an image of the sun onto a screen. Both methods should produce clear images of the partial phase of an eclipse.
If you’re planning to view the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, make sure you’ve got the right safety gear. Read more about proper solar glasses and where to buy.