Just outside path of totality, Portland offers rare eclipse view

OMSI's Director of Space Science Education Jim Todd (seated) speaks with KATU's Reed Andrews in the Kendall Planetarium about next month's total solar eclipse that will sweep across part of Oregon. (KATU Photo)

The Rose City is just outside the path of totality, but 99 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon during August's solar eclipse.

"It's pretty quick and some people may be disappointed if they didn't know that," said Jim Todd, head of OMSI's Kendall Planetarium.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is expecting Monday, Aug. 21 to be the busiest day in the history of Interstate 5.

"It will be like the Civil War game times ten," says Don Hamilton, spokesperson for ODOT.

The historic backups could keep many people away from experiencing the total solar eclipse.

"More of a headache than it's worth," said Gary Turner, of Portland. "It's close enough, I'll stick my head out the door and watch it."

Todd has been busy educating people about the looming solar eclipse.

"You won't get that defined boundary, you just get that noticeable change," Todd said of what people in Portland will experience.

Todd says it's key for people to scout out a spot to watch the eclipse ahead of time. A view of the southeast is vital.

"Then you want to get a good horizon all the way around so you can experience the overall impact of the shadow," Todd said.

Even with the vast majority of the sun covered by the moon, Todd says people in Portland should not stare at the sun.

And if people look just to the sun's right they may be able to spot Venus.

The solar eclipse will come and go pretty quickly no matter where you're viewing it from. But Todd says Oregon will experience an eclipse roughly every other year for the next 50 years.

"Hang on to those solar viewing glasses, you'll be using them again for sure," Todd said.

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