Watch the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Central Oregon by Helicopter!

When is the next eclipse? August 21, 2017 and Central Oregon at Madras Solarfest is in the prime viewing path. The first total solar eclipse since 1979 will be witnessed by the continental United States, and it touches Oregon first.

For those seeking the ultimate Solar Eclipse viewing event Big Mountain Heli Tours is flying select groups via private helicopter to prearranged champagne helicopter basecamps in the high desert along the line of totality!

It will take only two minutes for the shadow to race eastward toward its first date with a large population of folks who will be breathlessly awaiting its arrival. Salem, Dallas, Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, Philomath, McMinnville, and Woodburn, will experience various lengths of totality based on their varying distances from the centerline.

Observing the Eclipse

The only safe way to look directly at the un-eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses”  or handheld solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.

Eclipse glasses should be worn whenever even a part of the sun can be seen; only during totality when the moon has slid fully in front of the sun is it safe to take off one’s eclipse glasses. In fact, observing those brief seconds of totality without eclipse glasses is encouraged because it’s possible during this time to see the outer atmosphere of the sun and its streamers, loops and plumes of gas.

A few things to remember:

  • Protect your vision; do not look directly at the Sun during the 2 1/2 hours. It is only safe to view the Sun during the 1:44 minutes of totality.
  • Eye equipment: Proper eclipse glasses or filters must be used to observe the partial phase before or after totality.
  • Binoculars can only be used during totality
  • Telescopes are for experts only
  • Cameras are not recommended. Again, probably for experts only. If you must capture this moment on camera make sure you time for the event and do not look into the viewfinder during the eclipse, except when it is in totality.
  • Don’t use anything that is not designed for viewing a solar eclipse
  • Don’t use sunglasses
  • Bottom line: For many, this is a once in a lifetime event. Just enjoy it and live in the moment. You don’t want it to pass you by while you fiddle with your devices.

If you plan to view the solar eclipse in Madras, at our champagne eclipse helicopter base camps we’ll include Solar Eclipse safety glasses, included with the package. Our book a scenic helicopter tour year round here in Bend.Join us!