SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Tourists will be flocking to Oregon next summer for a rare event — a full solar eclipse.
“The moon is 223,000 miles away. It’s close to the Earth that day, that’s why we’re going to have a totality. The moon is going to cast a shadow on the face of the Earth,” said Jim Todd, the director of space education at OMSI.
The event is covering 5 continents and Oregon will be the first state to view the eclipse in the morning on August 21, 2017.
Todd said it will take 90 minutes from coast to coast and 3.8% of the nation will get to see totality while 99% or about 324 million people will see a partial eclipse.
Even though it’s happening during the day, the eclipse will cause it to be dark outside.
“This is the shadow being cast by the moon. Traveling at 3000 mph, it’s only going to take 9 minutes from the coast to the Idaho border,” Todd said.
Kara Kuh with Travel Salem expects thousands of people from the all over the Northwest as well as international tourists to come to Oregon to see it due to the rarity of total eclipses. She said there is still some hotel availability, but with the many events in Salem, spots are filling up fast. There are also camp sites available.
Depoe Bay, Newport and Lincoln City are the prime viewing locations.
The next chance to see a total solar eclipse in Oregon is in about 154 years.