As if Bend wasn’t already a tourism hotspot during the summer, this August we will most likely see more people in town than ever before. On August 21st, a total solar eclipse will be passing over the United States, and it is said that Central Oregon will be one of the best places to watch the eclipse as it travels from Oregon to South Carolina. This a monumental event that towns and cities across the nation have been preparing for for years. Residents and visitors alike should be aware of some safety/health tips before you look up to the skies this August.
A total solar eclipse is an odd performance of sun, moon, earth, and light. While it is usually characterized by an image of the moon blocking out the sun, there is a bit more to it than that. Like for instance, did you know that the shadow of the moon will be traveling west to east, even though the moon moves east to west?
The important thing to remember about an eclipse is while it is a breathtaking sight, we’re also breaking the number one rule our parents give to us as kids; don’t look directly at the sun. The naked eye can receive some serious damage from the sun’s UV rays if exposed for long periods of time. The number one way to avoid any harm to your eyes during this eclipse is to wear eclipse glasses.
Eclipse glasses block out 100% of harmful ultra-violet, 100% of harmful infrared, and 99.999% of intense visible light. This creates an orange image of the sun, and will keep your retinas safe during an eclipse. It’s important to remember that even though the moon will be covering the sun’s rays, you are still at risk of UV rays and infrared light, so be sure to keep your glasses on at all times during the eclipse. They can be purchased online and through vendors on site for the eclipse.
All signs point to Madras (a town an hour north of Bend) being the go-to spot for the eclipse sighting. It is in the best geographic location to maintain the ideal weather conditions throughout the eclipse journey over the US. The totality of the eclipse is set to begin at 10:19am PDT, and will last just over two minutes. Family Choice Urgent Care looks forward to looking up to the sky with you safely this August 21!