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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

May 18, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Solar eclipse to visit the Northwest on Sunday

People in some areas of the Northwest will be able to see a partial solar eclipse early Sunday evening.

A British scientific website that shows the eclipse’s path said the Sun will be 76 percent covered in Seattle.  However, clouds are expected to block the view, said meteorologist Dana Felton of the National Weather Service.

Under overcast skies, a 76-percent eclipse would be barely noticeable, said Mark Folkerts, president of the Everett Astronomical Society.

But if the clouds part, looking directly at the eclipse would cause eye damage within seconds, he said. Instead, look for crescent shadows on the ground, for instance where filtered sunlight passes between tree branches, he suggests.

The American Optometric Association warns people not to view a partial solar eclipse with the naked eye, through photographic or X-ray film, or with sunglasses. Use a device such as a pinhole projector, welder’s glass, or glasses made especially for solar observation. Here are some ideas for viewing an eclipse.

In Southern Oregon, the sun is expected to be 100 percent covered, producing an “annularity,” where the Moon’s coverage makes the Sun look like a ring of fire.

In Spokane, where better weather is predicted, the Sun will be 72 percent covered at 6:19 p.m., according to the Spokesman-Review.  Viewing sites are being set up in the Spokane area to provide eye-protection filters and telescopes to the public.

 

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