Oregonians are in for an incredible treat this summer as parts of the state will experience a brief total eclipse, when the moon fully covers the sun and daylight will transition to a deep twilight! On August 21, 2017, the whole nation will get to experience a partial eclipse lasting approximately 2-3 hours. Halfway through the partial eclipse, a strip of our state will experience a total eclipse lasting about 2 and a half minutes. The pathway of the total eclipse includes Newport, Salem, Albany, Madras, and John Day. For more information about the eclipse pathway and to view simulations, visit: https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/oregon/

As mesmerizing as a solar eclipse can be, viewing an eclipse can pose some serious eye health concerns and could even lead to severe, permanent vision loss from a condition called solar retinopathy. Take these steps to properly protect your peepers:

• DO NOT use ordinary sunglasses or homemade filters for viewing the sun/solar eclipse

• Only use solar filter or eclipse glasses that meet ISO 12312-2 standards (this should be noted on specialty solar filter glasses)

• Carefully inspect your solar filter or eclipse glasses to ensure that they are not damaged or scratched

• Read and follow the instructions that accompany your solar filter or eclipse glasses

• Put on and remove your solar filter or eclipse glasses while turned away from the eclipse to avoid inadvertent exposure

• DO NOT view the sun or a partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, binoculars, or telescope, even if you are wearing solar filter or eclipse glasses (the magnified lenses will intensify the rays and can cause serious damage to your eyes)

• It is safe to view a total eclipse without solar filter or eclipse glasses, but use extreme caution and be prepared to reposition your solar filter or eclipse glasses as soon as the bright sun begins to emerge from the total eclipse.

• Children should be supervised closely for the duration of the eclipse viewing

However, keep in mind that the Rogue Valley will not experience the total eclipse, and therefore, local viewers will need to wear ISO certified eclipse glasses for the duration of the eclipse.

Starting Monday July 31st, Medical Eye Center will be offering patients ISO 12312-2 certified eclipse glasses for $1.00 (limit 2 pairs per patient) while supplies last. For more information about solar filter or eclipse glasses and handheld viewers, visit the American Astronomical Society.

Eclipse safety information provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Astronomical Society