MADRAS, OREGON – The year 2017 is expected to see the “eclipse of the century” over North American skies in August, with a total solar eclipse over an hour and a half time span, a spectacular cosmic event that last took place in 1918.

Madras, Oregon will be ground zero for this remarkable event being celebrated by thousands at Oregon’s SolarFest.

Supporting this once-in-a-lifetime event will be Big Mountain Heli Tours and if money is no object, Big Mountain Heli Tours will be shuttling groups of six to remote base camps via private helicopter overlooking Lake Billy Chinook and the Cascades. For just under $6,000, you and your crew of up to six can be whisked away from the Madras airport or a local resort and deposited at your own private, prepositioned high desert hideaway with “…Dom Perignon Champagne, Oregon’s own Harry & David gourmet basket, tables and chairs, eclipse-viewing eyewear, and a front-row seat to the greatest celestial event in Central Oregon in over four decades,” according to the website. Afterward, they’ll retrieve you, and return you to your previous destination.

The path of the eclipse will go from the U.S. state of Oregon in the west diagonally downwards towards the state of South Carolina. As eclipse hunters flood the United States this August to watch what scientists are calling the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, new data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (among other sources) will provide them with the most accurate maps ever for where to catch the eclipse.

Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes in between the sun and the Earth, from Earth’s perspective. Because the moon is a relatively small object, the path of totality is very narrow. At any single location, totality will last a few dozen seconds at most.

Several other eclipses are expected to take place across the world. People in South America will be treated to a solar annular eclipse, which is also dubbed the “ring of fire” in the southern region of the continent, but for sheer adventure Madras, Oregon will be the best bet in 2017!