Northwest Will See Ring Of Fire Eclipse Sunday

May 18, 2012

For the first time since 1994, a partial solar eclipse will be visible across the Northwest. The eclipse will reach its peak at about 6:20 Sunday night. Amelia Templeton reports on how to watch the event safely.

In most parts of the Northwest, the eclipse will look like the moon taking a big bite out of the sun.

Southern Oregon lies directly in the path of the moon’s shadow. Viewers there will see the moon block the sun, leaving only a ring of light visible.

Jim Todd directs the planetarium at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. He recommends buying a pair of special solar viewing glasses to watch the eclipse. If you can’t find a pair, you can build a pinhole projector and cast an image of the eclipse on the ground.

You can make a simple one with a straw hat with little holes in it. Turn your back to the sun, he says.

Todd: “if you hold that straw hat up, and look at the ground, the shadow, you can actually see the disks of the sun and the moon.”

Todd says you should not look directly at the eclipse, or point a telescope at it.

UV light from the sun can permanently damage your eyes.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio