Not headed to Oregon for the total eclipse? Here’s what to know about the eclipse in Lake Tahoe
August 20, 2017
As throngs of people on the West Coast flock to Oregon for the much-anticipated total solar eclipse, those who will be on the South Shore on Monday, Aug. 21, don’t have to miss out on the excitement — at least partially.
For the first time since 1979, a total solar eclipse will be viewable from the United States in a coast-to-coast swath of land starting in Lincoln Beach, Oregon and ending in Charleston, South Carolina.
“A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes directly in front of the sun, blocks the sun, and casts a shadow. It’s so much more rare to see a solar eclipse versus a lunar eclipse,” said Cathy Cox, a professor of physics at Lake Tahoe Community College. “When there is a total eclipse and the moon’s shadow covers the Earth, you can literally see the stars. I’m actually on the road up to Oregon right now.”
Oregon is experiencing a massive influx of people traveling to view the total eclipse, resulting in hours-long traffic backups and completely booked hotels and campsites. Around 1 million people are projected to visit Oregon to view the total solar eclipse by Monday.
For those not in the stretch that will witness the total eclipse, there is still an opportunity to view a partial eclipse.
According to data from the United States Naval Observatory, viewers on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore will start to see the moon eclipse the sun beginning at 9:04 a.m. The peak of coverage — which will obscure about 80 percent of the sun — will take place around 10:19 a.m. The eclipse will then begin to recede and be done by 11:43 a.m.
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Proper eye protection is crucial for viewing the eclipse. Watching with unprotected eyes — or even regular sunglasses — can result in serious, permanent damage to the eyes.
Verify that the brand of “eclipse glasses” is approved by the American Astronomical Society before use. (A list of reputable vendors can be found at eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters.)
On Thursday, Aug. 17, the Douglas County Public Library recalled the eclipse glasses it provided to the public, explaining that the vendor informed library administration that they “have not received confirmation from the supplier of your order that they sourced the item from a recommended manufacturer.”
But with eclipse glasses jumping off the shelf quickly, many are opting to craft their own pinhole projectors to view the eclipse. Simply punch a hole in the middle of a paper plate, and with your back to the sun, raise the plate, allowing the light to stream through the hole and project onto another piece of cardboard. The farther away the pinhole is from the cardboard, the larger the eclipse will be projected.
Though many are proclaiming the total solar eclipse to be a “once in a lifetime experience,” there will be another total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 visible from Texas to Maine.