Annular solar eclipse to sweep over Oregon, other states this October

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — The 2023 annular solar eclipse is coming up next month and slated to sweep over Oregon. A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, blocking the sun’s light.

The event will start becoming visible in Oregon shortly after 8 a.m. on Oct. 14 — beginning with a partial eclipse before reaching “annularity” a little after 9 a.m. The Portland metro area will get a glimpse of it, but the best viewable places are going to be along parts of the Oregon coast, the Eugene area and into parts of central Oregon.

The path of the annular solar eclipse is going to be different from what many saw in 2017 in Oregon. It won’t be as dark, but it will still be pretty impressive. Next month’s event, the moon will only partially cover the sun, and it won’t reach totality, the outer edges of the sun will still shine bright.

“We are going to see the reverse when the disk of the moon is smaller than the disk of the sun and that’s why it’s called an annular eclipse, it’s going to be what’s called the ring of fire,” said Jim Todd with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).

Todd said even if you’re not directly over the path, you’re still going to get a chance to see something in the Portland metro area.

RELATED: Solar eclipse 2023: Where and when to watch

“Here in Portland we are going to get an 86% partial. It will seem like a ring but not complete, it’ll be more of a crescent phase,” Todd said.

Another difference this time around compared to 2017’s event — it’s easier to find a place to stay.

In Eugene, they have plenty of room, and campsites are still available.

“We’re just not seeing the same from several years ago, I’m not sure if it’s because it’s not totality even though it’s going to be spectacular,” said Andy Vobora, vice president of Travel Lane County.

Those hoping to see the eclipse on the coast are in luck, but as it gets closer many spots in the path are expected to fill up quickly.

The path will be passing eight different states on the morning of Oct. 14.

NASA says that another total eclipse will be visible in North America in 2024. The eclipse is set to begin on April 8 and will pass over a substantial portion of the United States.

When viewing a solar event please remember that it is never safe to look at the sun directly. Doing so may cause damage to your eyes or blindness. NASA recommends using genuine eclipse glasses or a pin hole projector. For more safety tips visit their safety page.

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