Millions of people in the Americas will be able to witness an astronomical treat on October 14 with a solar eclipse in which – weather permitting – the moon will be seen passing in front of the Sun. Known as an annular (Latin for “ring-shaped”) solar Eclipse, it will be visible along a path covering parts of the United States, Mexico, and several countries in Central America and South America.
It’s not every day that the Earth, Moon, and Sun line up perfectly to produce this celestial event. It is important to remember that looking directly at the Sun without proper eye protection can cause permanent damage to the eyes, so it’s crucial to use special glasses or filters for eclipse viewing.
It’s a rare opportunity to see the Ring of Fire for those in the right place at the right time. In the United States, the Eclipse will be visible in a 125-mile-wide path that extends from Oregon to Texas. It will then travel into Central America and Southern South America before reaching the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Colombia in Natal, Brazil.
The Eclipse will begin in Oregon at 9:13 a.m. PDT and move through California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. It will then pass into Mexico and Central America, seen in Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Then, it will move into South America, where it will be visible in Colombia, Ecuador, and off the coast of Natal, Brazil.
This is the only solar Eclipse in 2024 that will pass over the entire continental United States so it will be a big deal. For those who won’t make it to the Eclipse’s path, NASA will livestream the phenomenon for free so people can watch from their homes.
There are also eclipse events across the state of Oregon, allowing people to witness this unique solar phenomenon. Many of these events will offer a variety of activities for the public to enjoy. For instance, at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Klamath County, telescopes will be set up where guests can look at the Sun safely using specialized filters. It is always safest to look at the Sun only through filters, as direct exposure can burn the retina and lead to permanent blindness.
In addition to this, there are several parks and public facilities where viewers can gather to experience the event, including the Oregon Dunes Day Use Area in Lincoln City. The location offers restrooms, drinking water, and a picnic shelter. The site is expected to be busy during the Eclipse, so visitors are encouraged to arrive early. Also in Lincoln City, the North Bend Civic and Arts Center will host a block party with food trucks, craft vendors, and music to celebrate the Eclipse, followed by telescope views at Sunset Park.