The Klamath County Museum will stage free viewing parties in Midland and Macdoel, while the Lava Beds National Monument will welcome visitors to see the rare event at that location.
The eclipse will begin around 5 p.m., and reach its peak around 6:30 p.m. in this area.
“This is the type of opportunity that may come along only once or twice in a person’s lifetime,” said Todd Kepple, manager of the Klamath County Museum. “To have an eclipse occur so close to Klamath Falls makes it something no one should miss.”
The May 20 event will be a rare annular eclipse – a term that signifies the moon will cover slightly less than the entire face of the sun. The result will be a slender “ring of fire” visible all the way around the moon for those who are in the right location.
Klamath Falls sits just a couple of miles beyond the northern edge of the path where the near-total eclipse can be seen.
“From the city center and anywhere to the north of town, you’ll see a partial eclipse,” Kepple said. “If you drive just a few miles south of town, you’ll see the entire moon pass across the face of the sun. The farther south you drive, the better the effect will be.”
Residents of the Klamath Basin can go to any of these three locations where amateur astronomers will have telescopes set up to view the eclipse:
- Midland rest area on Highway 97, six miles south of Klamath Falls
- Macdoel School in Butte Valley, about 30 miles south of Klamath Falls on Highway 97.
- Lava Beds National Monument, about 45 miles south of Klamath Falls.
A limited number of solar-safe eyeglasses will be available for $2 per pair at each location. The glasses are also available in the Klamath County Museum gift shop, 1451 Main St.
No one should ever look directly at the sun without strong eye protection – such as a No. 14 welder’s glass – even during a total eclipse. To do so would risk permanent eye damage.
Telescopes fitted with solar filters and attended by volunteer amateur astronomers will be set up by around 5 p.m. on May 20, when the eclipse begins.
Museum volunteers will remain in Macdoel to conduct an evening stargazing program that will run from 8 to 10 p.m. on May 20.
The next total solar eclipse visible in the United States will occur Aug. 21, 2017. The path of the total eclipse in 2017 will cut across northern Oregon.
Other upcoming astronomy events planned by the Klamath County Museum this year include viewing a transit of Venus across the sun on the evening of June 5, and the Perseid meteor shower Aug. 11-13.
For more information call the Klamath County Museum at (541) 883-4208, or go to http://www.co.klamath.or.us/
About Discover Klamath:
Discover Klamath strengthens Klamath County’s economy by attracting and encouraging visitors and residents to experience the Klamath region by promoting the area’s strengths including its unique natural environment, vibrant cultural communities and rich heritage resources. http://www.discoverklamath.com