A total solar eclipse is happening next week. What will Oregon be able to see?

Annular solar eclipse from Southeast Portland 2023

A partial solar eclipse seen through the clouds from Southeast Portland Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. Mark Graves/The Oregonian

Another total solar eclipse is about to cross the United States, sending people flocking to parks, hotels and music festivals to witness the astonishing astronomical event.

But unlike the 2017 eclipse, when Oregon became the epicenter of big event, things will be a lot quieter in the Pacific Northwest this time around.

While technically in the path of the April 8 eclipse, our region will be far from the path of totality, a narrow band in which people can actually witness the “total” part of a total eclipse.

That band will be crossing over Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, as well as parts of Mexico and Canada this time around.

Those outside the path of totality will see only a partial solar eclipse of varying degrees, depending on how close or far away they are. For this eclipse, the Pacific Northwest is about as far away as you can get.

According to NASA, Portland and Seattle will only see around 20% to 25% obscuration, meaning the moon will appear to take only a small bite of the sun. Those in southeast Oregon will be able to see a little more, getting up to 35% obscuration in the far corner of the state.

In Portland, the partial solar eclipse will begin at 10:33 a.m. April 8, reaching its maximum eclipse at 11:25 a.m. and ending at 12:19 p.m., according to Time and Date.

The event will not be visible except with special eclipse glasses. Looking at the sun without protection, even for a short period of time, can do serious and long-lasting damage to your eyes.

Jim Todd, space science director for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, said those east of the Cascade Mountains will have the best weather conditions for seeing the eclipse. In April, both the Willamette Valley and the Oregon coast tend to see cloudy or foggy mornings, he said.

OMSI will be hosting a partial eclipse celebration April 8 in Portland, with eclipse-themed treats, space science activities and an educational presentation, Todd said. There will also be a live stream from cities inside the path of totality.

It will be a while until another total solar eclipse crosses the country. A total eclipse will cross over Montana and the Dakotas on Aug. 22, 2044, and another will sweep across the country, from northern California to Florida, on Aug. 12, 2045.

--Jamie Hale covers travel and the outdoors and co-hosts the Peak Northwest podcast. Reach him at 503-294-4077, jhale@oregonian.com or @HaleJamesB.

Our journalism needs your support. Subscribe today to OregonLive.com.

If you purchase a product or register for an account through a link on our site, we may receive compensation. By using this site, you consent to our User Agreement and agree that your clicks, interactions, and personal information may be collected, recorded, and/or stored by us and social media and other third-party partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy.