Madras has big plans for August solar eclipse

200,000 people are expected to watch the eclipse in Madras

More than 200,000 people are expected to flock to Madras, Oregon to watch the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. (KOIN)
More than 200,000 people are expected to flock to Madras, Oregon to watch the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. (KOIN)

MADRAS, Ore. (KOIN) — More than 200,000 people are expected to flock to a small central Oregon town on August 21 to experience 2 minutes of total darkness.

Madras, which has a population of about 6,500, has been identified as a prime spot to view the total solar eclipse that will be visible across Oregon and the U.S.

The path of totality for the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 (Courtesy: NationalEclipse.com)
The path of totality for the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 (Courtesy: NationalEclipse.com)

Three years ago, NASA and other world-leading scientists and astronomers chose Madras as the place to set up for the once-in-a-lifetime event.

“This is something you will probably never see again,” William Dean Pesnell with NASA said. “It’s the best thing you could see in the sky in your life.”

In honor of the great viewing potential, there will be events and activities throughout the weekend of the eclipse including the Oregon Solarfest, SolarThon Run and Desert Inn Solar Celebration. The Airshow of the Cascades is also happening August 25-26 for anyone who wants to make a longer stay out of their trip to central Oregon.

The eclipse will start at 9:06 a.m. and full darkness is expected at 10:19 a.m.

Campsites and hotel rooms at the coast have already been booked months in advance, but according to the Madras Eclipse website, there are still campsites and parking spots available in the area.

Other areas that should have great views of the eclipse are Baker City, Keizer and Lincoln Beach, according to NationalEclipse.com, a website dedicated to the eclipse.

Learn more at Madraseclipse.com