Hundreds watch solar eclipse at EMU, across Eugene

It totally eclipsed our hearts.

All ‘80s music jokes aside, the 2017 solar eclipse was one for the books. It could be seen across the United States, and the 70-mile-wide path of totality stretched from central Oregon to South Carolina. Anyone in Eugene viewed the eclipse at 99% obscuration.

The blue line represents the path of totality. The shaded area around it represents partial obscuration.

The blue line represents the path of totality. The shaded area around it represents partial obscuration.

On the morning of August 21, between 200 and 300 people gathered on the South lawn at the University of Oregon’s Erb Memorial Union to get an unobstructed view of the event. At 10:18 a.m., the eclipse reached its point of totality for us. The air cooled and the sky darkened enough that the outdoor lights came on automatically. Only a sliver of the sun was visible through the special glasses needed to directly view the eclipse.

The sun in #Eugene at 10:18 a.m. On Monday, August 21, 2017. Link in profile to complete eclipse coverage. 📷: Carl Davaz #eclipse #eclipse2017 #eugeneoregon #springfieldOR #registerguard registerguard.com/eclipse

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“It was cool to think about how many people were looking at the same thing as me, and it was a cool event to share with my friends,” said UO student Olivia Bowman.

Ducks watching as we approach 99% obscuration just after 10 a.m. #eclipse #eclipseweek #uoregon

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While not every one had the day off to watch the headlining event, people like Jeanette Luna were able to view it from work.

Jeanette Luna watched the event from her office at Oregon Medical Group. “I couldn’t get the day off,” she said. “Our manager provided us with the glasses. It was kinda spooky seeing it get dark outside.”

Linda Jenkins, who watched from her apartment in Eugene, wondered about those seeing eclipses past.

“I was actually thinking about how different we react to out of the ordinary solar phenomenon today than we must have thousands of years ago,” Jenkins said. “When the first solar eclipse happened, people must have PANICKED. I mean, the sun is the source of life, you know?"

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