Editor, Valdez Star 

Solar eclipse in Valdez will be a partial interaction of sun and moon

Some are traveling out of state this Monday to get a full view of the eclipse


August 16, 2017


Valdez will experience a partial eclipse Monday - providing there are clear skies according to the website

The first full solar eclipse to span the Lower 48 in 99 years will occur this Monday - but Alaskans will experience a partial eclipse.

According to the website, the partial eclipse will begin in Valdez at 8:21 a.m. and the moon will pass in front of the sun as much as it will at 9:17 a.m. and will be completely over at 10:15 a.m.

For some in Valdez, the chance to view the total eclipse is too great, and a number of people will be traveling to portions of the Lower 48 that will experience the full eclipse.

Gil Martel, who works for ADOT, is one of those unable to resist the lure of a full eclipse.

"I've always been fascinated by solar eclipses," Martel said during an interview Monday. "I decided it was something I wanted to go see."

So did his adult daughter and teenage son.

"I've seen a partial eclipse in Valdez," he said, but was willing to make what he called a "mad dash" to Oregon by way of Seattle to see the full eclipse.

The full eclipse will be visible only in a small band that will span the continental United States from coast to coast this Monday.

"Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, Oregon will be the first location on continental US soil to see totality," says on its page dedicated to Monday's eclipse. "The partial phase of the eclipse will begin here at 9:04 am local time, totality will occur at 10:15 am. Other places on the coast of Oregon will not have to wait much longer for the onset of the eclipse. For example, in Lincoln City, Oregon just west of Salem, the partial and total phases of the eclipse will start less than 20 seconds later than at Yaquina Head."

Charleston, South Carolina will be the most easterly location to view the total eclipse, which will begin at 1:16 p.m. eastern time and will be in its totality at 2:47 p.m.

No matter where you plan to catch a view of the eclipse, remember, your mother was right: never look straight at the sun because it can damage your eyes.

Mom's words of wisdom are backed up by NASA.

"The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as "eclipse glasses" or hand-held solar viewers," NASA says on its website. "Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight."


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