PSU physicist: Location key to viewing eclipse

Professor recommends staying away from bodies of water

PSU physicist Jack Straton took this photo of the solar eclipse in Oregon in 1979. (Copyright 1979 Jack Straton)
PSU physicist Jack Straton took this photo of the solar eclipse in Oregon in 1979. (Copyright 1979 Jack Straton)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — PSU physicist Jack Straton says the key to viewing the solar eclipse on August 21 is location.

This may come as no surprise, but Straton says he missed out of viewing the last eclipse in 1979 because he was by a body of water.

“I set up at Viento State Park, which was a beautiful spit right out into the Columbia,” Straton tells KOIN 6 News. “Then, two minutes before totality, mist rose off of the water, because it was so cold. It blocked out the sun and I did not see a thing of totality,” he says.

Straton recommends staying away from lakes, streams and the ocean to make sure what happened to him won’t happen to you.

He also recommends getting into the path of totality, which means, getting out of Portland.

“The difference between being in Portland versus being in the zone of totality is 95% to infinity. It’s really a different thing to see these filaments of gas coming out of the sun,” he says.

Professor Straton recently spoke to Forbes Magazine about his experience viewing the last solar eclipse.

Complete coverage of the solar eclipse