Although Astoria is not in the path of totality for the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse, we will see a partial eclipse as the sun, moon and earth align so that the moon’s shadow blocks out the sun – NASA describes this phenomenon as a “celestial coincidence,” since the sun is about 400 times wider than the moon and about 400 times farther away. For extensive information about the eclipse, visit the websites of the Rice Space Institute and NASA.
Here in Astoria, the moon will block over 97% of the sun’s rays – 97.2% obscuration (the percentage of the sun’s area covered by the moon) and 97.3% magnitude (percentage of the sun’s diameter covered). The eclipse begins here at 9:06 am PDT, and will reach its maximum at 10:18 am. According to Travel Oregon, the sky will darken as if it’s overcast, and the moon’s silhouette will cover the sun leaving a glow of sunlight at the top. You may see the bright star Venus as well. The sun will emerge completely from the moon’s shadow at 11:37 am. The moon’s shadow will slow as it crosses the state, from about 3,400 miles per hour at the Pacific to 2,900 miles per hour as it reaches Idaho. To watch the path of the eclipse and a simulation of what you will experience in different locations, visit the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s website and select the location you wish to simulate.
Remember, even to observe a partial eclipse, you must use eclipse glasses with the ISO or CE mark on them certifying that they meet requirements for safely viewing the eclipse. The American Astronomical Society website lists brands available and retail locations. Glasses also may be obtained from the Oregon State Parks. To prevent damage to your retinas from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, wear these glasses for observation throughout the period of the eclipse, not just at the maximum period.
Unlike lodging in the immediate path of totality, Clementine’s Bed & Breakfast still has guest rooms and our extended stay Moose Suites available for August 20-22, as well as the preceding weekend. If you want to avoid the crowds in other parts of Oregon, it’s a perfect time to plan a late summer getaway to Astoria, whether you want to experience the eclipse, or just enjoy all our area in the Pacific Northwest has to offer, from great dining, shopping, and museums to hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.