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Oregon Solar Eclipse Gathering Event Approved For August
by Donna Millsap - The Oregon Herald
  Sunday April 23, 2017 - 10:15 AM
 
PRINEVILLE, Oregon — It's official, now more than 30,000 people will be allowed for a music and arts festival that will also be scheduled with a solar eclipse in August.

On August 21 a solar eclipse will be visible in the U.S. along a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina.

Cook County commissioners have approved a new event permits for the gathering.

The event is being held from Aug. 17 to Aug. 23 on 200 acres. It's part of a 50,000-acre ranch owned by Craig Woodward in the Ochoco National Forest.

Mid-August 2017
People from all over the world begin to converge on the United States. Except for people returning home, visiting family, or conducting business at what happens to be just exactly the right time in history, these will be people who make it a point to travel to wherever the Moon's shadow is going to touch the earth, and position themselves in a spot carefully chosen - sometimes years in advance - to ensure they see the sight.

These people will make contingency travel plans in case of last-minute clouds. These people will fill hotel rooms, sometimes inadvertently displacing locals from their homes as space gets harder to come by. These people will travel through miles of desert or forest or frozen wasteland, braving the harshest of conditions...for a short glimpse at the eclipsed Sun.

On August 21 a solar eclipse will be visible in the U.S. along a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina.
These people are coming to America, because for the first time in 26 years, a total solar eclipse will occur in our great country, and we will play host to the world's eclipse-chasers. For those of us who already live here, but have never seen an eclipse, this is the opportunity of a lifetime - to see the most beautiful thing on the planet, and maybe not even have to get on an airplane to get to it!

August 18, 2017
Almost everyone who plans to see the eclipse will be in position. Foreign visitors will be be wrapping up their sightseeing tours of our country, and getting to their selected viewing areas early to ensure that no travel glitches have an opportunity to deprive them of their true goal. Cities along the path who have decided to create official eclipse viewing areas will have their focus set to logistics, ensuring the comfort, enjoyment and safety of their guests. People who have converged on those sites to view the eclipse will begin the countdown to eclipse day, as final preparations are made to ensure that photography equipment, filters, chairs, tables, telescopes, TV monitors, webcast equipment, hats and sunscreen are all at the ready for the big day!

Last-minute weather forecasts are checked, and anyone with the slightest fear of clouds on eclipse day will invoke their travel contingencies. Weather monitoring will proceed around the clock, with live updates issued hourly so as to best prepare eclipse-chasers who will need to move at a moment's notice. Nothing will stand in the way of seeing the eclipse!

August 19-20, 2017
Last-minute arrivals will get in place, together with those who have had to fight their own travel glitches, and make alternate arrangements to get here. Some will have missed their pre-eclipse tours, but that's OK - as long as they're in the path by Sunday night, all is OK. The worry can then focus on equipment, mental preparedness, and weather.

Scientists and amateur photographers who will be recording the event go over their preparations one last time. Sequences of events and actions that have been planned years in advance, and practised countless times to ensure mastery, will be practised one last time. All batteries will be replaced with new ones. All film, batteries and memory cards will be double- and triple-checked. Everything will be set up, taped down, sealed against the dew, and put to bed for the last time. Tomorrow is the big day, and nothing can go wrong.

August 21, 2017

Eclipse Day!

No human action can disrupt the incessant dance of the cosmos, and the Moon's shadow will not wait on you if you're not ready. Like a mindless juggernaut, it plows its way through space toward a collision course with Earth. As predicted by the astronomers decades in advance, the shadow arrives with perfect accuracy, and touches down in the north Pacific Ocean at 16:48:33 UT*, at local sunrise. (At that spot, the Sun will actually rise while totally eclipsed. This is a sight few people - even veteran eclipse chasers - have seen, and from what we hear, it is quite uncanny.)

A minute later, the entire shadow (the "umbral cone") will have made landfall - er, ocean-fall - and will be racing across the surface of the water at supersonic speed. Except for folks on ships at sea, and the occasional ocean-dwelling critter who dares to venture too near the surface, nothing sentient will note the passing of the umbra - until land gets in the way.

OREGON
And that land will be United States soil. On the beach in Oregon, at a rocky spot of ground just north of Newport that sticks its nose out into the Pacific, the shadow first touches land at 17:15:50.6UT (at about 10:15 in the morning). This lucky piece of Earth experiences a full minute and fifty seconds of totality.

The actual centerline of the eclipse path hits solid ground a full six seconds later, and plunges Lincoln Beach and Depoe Bay into darkness for 1m58s!

It takes only about two minutes for the shadow to race eastward toward its first date with a large population of folks who will be breathlessly awaiting its arrival. Dallas, Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, Philomath, McMinnville, Woodburn, and yes, Salem itself, experience various durations of totality (based on their varying distances from the centerline); on the steps of the State Capitol in Salem (the first of five state capitals the shadow will visit), lucky viewers will be treated to 1m54.5s of shadow at just after 10:17am. (Great time for a coffee break!)

The great city of Portland is NOT in the path of totality! If you're there, or in Eugene, you will not get the full meal deal! Get south, and get yourself into the shadow! That's right: IF YOU STAY IN PORTLAND, the eclipse will never be total for you! You will need to use your eclipse glasses for the entire partial eclipse, and you will not see the beauty of totality!

The eclipse then leaves our most western friends, and travels through the forests and deserts of central Oregon, hitting the mountains at Madras and Warm Springs at about 10:19. Mitchell and Prairie City are next, and the shadow leaves Oregon just north of Ontario. (Actually, Ontario gets 1m23s of totality at 11:25am MDT, but folks there would be better served to head north to the rest area north of Huntington on I-84, or into Idaho on US95 between Midvale and Weiser, for better than 30 seconds more totality! Soak them up; those seconds in the shadow are precious!!!)

For more information see this dedicated website about the eclipse.

Photo 1: A total solar Eclipse.

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