Follow the sun

The Aug. 21 solar eclipse will soon be upon us

The year 2017 may be best remembered in Oregon as the year in which we all learned how to properly use the phrase “path of totality” in a sentence.

As every terrestrial is aware by now, the Aug. 21 solar eclipse will bring countless sky-watchers to our state on a trek to observe the effects of the moon crossing between Earth and the sun.

Douglas County falls outside the borders of the swath in which onlookers can view a total eclipse. But there will still be ample opportunities for witnessing a partial eclipse – not to mention group activities, celebrations and other science-infused gatherings to mark the historic event.

Image courtesy of NASA

The Umpqua STEAM Hub will help get us all in the mood by handing out eclipse-viewing glasses in its booth at the Aug. 9-12 Douglas County Fair. Stop by to say hello and get your protective eyewear!

In addition, there will be a free demonstration on solar viewing, held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Paul Morgan Observatory at Umpqua Community College. A second discussion with more detail on the subject will be held at the next meeting of the Umpqua Astronomers, taking place at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at UCC’s Wayne Crooch Hall, Room 18.

If you can’t make the meeting but want to know more about local astronomy activities, visit For a galaxy of information on how to prepare for the Aug. 21 eclipse, orbit on over to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration website at

So keep those eclipse glasses polished and get ready for one of the great wonders of the natural world!

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