It’s not often we get a front-row seat to a once-in-a-lifetime event.
That’ll be the case Aug. 21 when the Long Beach Peninsula will see 97-percent coverage during that morning’s solar eclipse. The peninsula hugs the eclipse’s path of totality, meaning the area is primed to be among the best viewing spots in the nation.
The eclipse begins at 9:06 a.m. during what’s known as “first contact”. It reaches maximum coverage at 10:17 a.m. and ends at 11:36 a.m. The two-hour, thirty-minute show should be nothing less than spectacular (just cross your fingers for clear skies).
Rare eclipse opportunity
How rare of an opportunity is this? Here’s what Seattle’s KING5 News says about the Aug. 21 eclipse:
“A total solar eclipse is not terribly rare. One occurs every few years, but usually it is somewhere remote where only a few people and a lot of animals can conveniently see it. The August 21 eclipse is rare, because it will cross coast-to-coast through the lower 48 states for the first time since 1918.”
Now that you know where to see the eclipse, let’s talk about how you should view it. You’ll want to wear special eclipse glasses, which you can pick up for free on Friday, Aug. 18 at Timberland Library in Ilwaco. Sunglasses, smoked glass and many other filters still let dangerous radiation into the eyes, so you should score a pair of the special glasses if you truly want to experience the event.
Shooting (the) star
And what about photography? The good news is that it’s safe and doable if you follow a few easy tips. NASA spells out how to photography the eclipse with a phone. Experienced photographers using single-lens reflex cameras should follow these guidelines.
Aug. 21 is going to be a busy one on the Long Beach Peninsula – the Washington State International Kite Festival kicks off that day in addition to the morning eclipse. If you’re interested in Long Beach Peninsula lodging during the week of the Kite Festival and eclipse, we suggest you stop reading this blog immediately and pick up a phone. Rooms, campgrounds and RV spots are filling up quickly, so don’t wait another minute to plan your celestial excursion.