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Tips for watching the solar eclipse

Staying in Oregon for the August 2017 solar eclipse? Make sure to take in the once in a lifetime view safely with these solar eclipse watching tips!

The total solar eclipse is happening August 21, 2017 and Oregon is within the 70-mile-wide path that will experience the total eclipse – though a partial eclipse will be visible to most of North America. The last total solar eclipse that was viewed from Oregon was in February 1979 and the next eclipse that’s visible from the continental United States is on October 14, 2023, following a path from Northern California to Florida. 

The total eclipse will only last two minutes and 40 seconds but essentially provides us a night within a day where we’ll be able to see brighter stars and planets, the solar corona or the sun’s outer atmosphere, as well as “shadow bands” or light rays being refracted by interference in the atmosphere.

Of course we’re all excited to see the eclipse but it’s important to do it the right way. Here are some tips for viewing the solar eclipse safely:

  • Glasses & filters: It’s imperative that you protect your eyes from the sun during an eclipse. NASA notes that it’s safe to look directly at the eclipse in its totality without safety glasses but they must be on during the partial eclipse phases. Do not use regular sunglasses, telescopes, or binoculars for viewing as they don’t have the correct filter strength. You can opt for affordable solar eclipse glasses or using number 14 welder’s glass.
  • Projections: If you don’t want to get safety glasses or filters, another option is to create pinhole projectors that reflect the image of the eclipse on paper, making it safe to view. 
  • Online viewing: If you won’t be near the eclipse path, you’ll be able to find streamed videos of the eclipse that are most definitely safe to look at.
  • Time: Oregonians and visitors can start seeing the eclipse just after 9 a.m. with the totality at 10:17 a.m. before it moves over Idaho at 11:34 a.m. and so on until the last sighting in Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 p.m.
  • Take breaks: Give your eyes a break as you watch the eclipse. Look away every so often and don’t just stare continuously up at the sky.
  • Prepare for temperature drops: Like we said, we’ll have a night within a day and that means nighttime temperatures for those few minutes! Grab a sweater or blanket as the temperature drops without the warmth of the sun.

Guests of Whale Cove Inn will receive complimentary viewing glasses for the event. Though we are sold out for the eclipse, we do think our ocean views are quite stunning even without the natural phenomenon and invite you to check out our suites for a luxurious getaway along the Oregon Coast!

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