It’s not every day that the sun hides her face behind the man in the moon.
Or, more scientifically speaking, that the moon on its orbital path around the earth lines up so that it blocks our view of the sun around which we ourselves are orbiting.
It was pretty exciting for Oregon to be the first place in the country to see this phenomenon Monday as the eclipse passed across a strip of America going west to east. The last time we had an eclipse in Oregon was in 1979.
The view was particularly thrilling for those who traveled a short way north to put themselves in the path of totality — where the sun was obscured completely by the moon for one minute and 51 seconds. Many viewers were awestruck as a thin halo of light surrounded the moon, the skies went dark and the stars came out a bit past 10 in the morning.
Here, we didn’t get the full effect. But those of us who purchased the goofy-looking glasses to protect our eyes, went outside, and rotated our eyeballs skyward around 10:18 a.m. Monday did get to enjoy an unusual sight. Instead of the crescent moon we often get to view at night, we saw a crescent sun, first on one side, and then the other as the moon made its transit.
The eclipse, like so many events, was more fun when shared. Eclipse-viewing gatherings like the one outside the Douglas County Courthouse were a good idea. And the upside of social media was how instantly we were all able to share our experiences with others — including the story of the family who shared with us they’d had an unscheduled special delivery of a baby boy at Mercy Medical Center during the eclipse.
It’s also worth noting what didn’t happen: No catastrophes accompanied the event. Traffic was strong but not outrageous. Public safety workers were ready.
All in all, we’d be happy to do it again soon. Just one problem with that. The next eclipse to cross our fair state won’t arrive until 2169.