Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing

Date: Oct. 23, 2014 Time: 1:30pm - 4:30pm Located at: OMSI's South Parking Lot
Who is this for: Everyone Cost: Free

Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing

Rain or (partial) shine, OMSI is your spot for viewing the eclipse on October 23

(Portland, Oregon) Eclipse watchers in the Portland area likely won't have much of a show Thursday during partial solar eclipse. Thursday's weather forecast calls for mostly overcast skies and showers, which will cover the afternoon's partial solar eclipse. The partial solar eclipse will reach its greatest magnitude at about 3:03 p.m. Thursday, when about 61 percent of the sun is covered by the new moon. OMSI had been planning to host an eclipse viewing party in the south parking lot Thursday afternoon, but this will be moved indoors due the inclement weather.

The OMSI planetarium will show the viewing of the partial eclipse from around North America on the dome live via streaming starting at 2:00 p.m. Admission to the televised eclipse is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Jim Todd

Watch the Moon take a bite from the Sun on October 23 Fifteen days after the Sun, Moon, and Earth align, they do so again — this time with the Moon in the middle. On October 23, our satellite casts its shadow onto most of North America and the eastern tip of Siberia. The Moon passes in front of the Sun bringing a partial eclipse to the Pacific Northwest. The center of the Moon's shadow will miss the earth, passing above the North Pole, but a partial eclipse will be visible at sunrise in far eastern Russia and before sunset across most of North America.

For Portland, the eclipse gets underway at 1:37 pm when the Moon makes first contact with the Sun. The maximum eclipse accords at 3:02 pm when the Moon covers 61 percent of the Sun's diameter at 26 degrees above the western horizon. The partial eclipse will end at 4:23 pm as the Moon exits.

Do not view any of this eclipse without eye protection. Even during the partial eclipse, the Sun shines brightly enough to damage your eyes if the eclipse is observed without a protective filter. Use only an approved solar filter which blocks dangerous ultraviolet and infrared radiation as well as visible light. If you plan to watch the eclipse through binoculars or a telescope, you must use an approved solar filter that fits over the front end of your instrument. The special solar filter viewing glasses are available at the OMSI Science Store (503-797-4626).

You also can view the eclipse indirectly by projecting the Sun’s image. Make a simple pinhole camera out of two pieces of stiff white cardboard and a piece of aluminum foil. Cut a square hole in one piece of cardboard, and then tape the foil over the hole. Next, take a straight pin and poke a small hole in the center of the foil. To view the eclipse, let the Sun’s light pass through the pinhole and onto the second piece of cardboard, which serves as a screen. This technique works particularly well with a group of children because everyone stands with their backs to the Sun and avoids the temptation of staring at it.

The last partial solar eclipse in Oregon was on May 20, 2012. After the October 23 eclipse, observers will have the good fortune to enjoy an even more spectacular eclipse; a total eclipse visible from most of Oregon, on August 21, 2017. The next annular eclipse for the U.S. won't come until October 14, 2023.

Learn how to view the eclipse with the experts and be a part of the event at OMSI!