The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland Oregon will offer astronomy enthusiasts a front-row seat for the live satellite broadcast of a full solar eclipse on Friday, August 1, at 4:09 a.m. PDT in OMSI’s Kendall Planetarium. Doors open Friday morning at 3:00 a.m. with the live broadcast beginning at 3:30 a.m. Admission is free with limited seating.
On August 1, a full solar eclipse will occur as the new moon moves directly between the sun and the earth. The moon’s shadow will fall first on Canada, zoom across Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and into China. There, in the remote Xinjiang Province in Northwestern China, very close to the Mongolian border, an eclipse expedition team from San Francisco’s Exploratorium will be waiting. Since the eclipse is not visible at all in the United States, the team will webcast the eclipse live to the world. From this remote desert on the ancient Silk Road, they will point four cutting-edge telescopes skywards to capture the eclipse from beginning to end—in white light, hydrogen alpha (for amazing details), and Calcium-K (to see surface structure).
In addition to live feeds of the eclipse, Exploratorium scientists Dr. Rob Semper and Dr. Paul Doherty will provide commentary on prominences, sunspots, and the corona as they occur. NASA heliospheric physicist Dr. Eric Christian will show some of the latest imagery of the sun from NASA’s SOHO and STEREO missions and explain how the solar wind can impact us here on Earth. Dr. Na Wang, director of the Urumqi National Observatory, will also be present. From coronal mass ejections to snapshots of the Silk Road to the newest U.S. and Chinese moon missions, the Exploratorium will cover it all while broadcasting one of the world’s most awe-inspiring celestial events.