Softstar Gears Up with Philomath Community for Epic Solar Eclipse
For many moons our community has been lit up with anticipation for this month’s historic total solar eclipse, and it’s almost here! Softstar headquarters and our surrounding community of Philomath, Oregon, are lucky enough to be right in the coveted path of totality. This means that on the morning of August 21 we will get to experience more than a full minute of darkness when the moon completely blocks our view of the sun. At this time, the sun’s outer atmosphere (called the “corona”) will erupt into view, glowing in a beautiful, fiery ring around the dark shape of the moon. In our location, the eclipse will start at 9:04 am and reach totality at 10:17 am. Being so close to the Pacific Ocean, this means we'll be among the first people in the country to see it!
Why Is This Eclipse so Special?
While solar eclipses are not as rare as people tend to think (there are two per year on average around the world), a total solar eclipse that crosses over the entire continental Unites States and gives prime viewing opportunities to millions of people is unique. The last time a total solar eclipse passed over the Unites States in a similar path was 1918. The path of totality will cross 14 states, from Oregon to South Carolina. The rest of North America, plus parts of South America, Africa and Europe, will experience a partial solar eclipse. The next two total solar eclipses visible from any part of the U.S. mainland will be in 2024 and 2045.
While speaking with Space.com, astronomer Jay Pasachoff tried to convey that being in the path of totality is truly the crème de la crème when it comes to eclipses. “If you are in that path of totality, you are seeing the main event, but if you are off to the side—even where the sun is 99 percent covered by the moon—it is like going up to the ticket booth of a baseball or football stadium but not going inside,” he says. That's because anything less than 100% totality will not show the fiery ring of the corona.
A report from The Atlantic says this eclipse has garnered so much excitement and anticipation that it is expected to be “the greatest temporary mass migration of humans to see a natural event in U.S. history.” Over 1 million people are expected to travel to Oregon for the eclipse weekend, and hotels and campsites in our area have been overbooked since last year.
Softstar’s Special Edition Eclipse Moccasins
Yes, you read that right! We created a special moccasin design to celebrate this exciting celestial occasion. Our eclipse mocs in our classic Roo style are made with a black smooth leather upper, sheepskin innersoles, and a handcut eclipse motif. The high-quality suede soles are suited to indoor and dry outdoor use.
Eclipse moccasins are available in child, youth and adult sizes. Availability is limited, so snatch these up while you can! They’ll make a lovely commemorative treasure of this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.
Nearby Corvallis, Oregon, is holding a host of eclipse-related activities as well, from a NASA educational talk about this cosmic event to camping and concerts. Check the Corvallis events calendar for details.
Eclipse Tips from NASA
Eclipse safety should not be overshadowed. Wear eclipse viewing glasses or use a handheld solar viewer during the event. Looking directly at the sun without these specialty devices could cause permanent damage to your eyes.
NASA has warned that not all eclipse viewing glasses are equal. To ensure they provide adequate eye protection, your glasses should be certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). To double-check that they are, look to make sure the ISO certification number “12312-2” is printed somewhere on your pair. Don’t use a pair of eclipse glasses that are scratched, have wrinkled lenses, or are more than three years old. Only during the 1–2 minutes of totality is it safe to remove your glasses to view the eclipse, and this only applies to the lucky individuals who get to experience 100% totality. Otherwise, wear them during the entire time the sun is only partially eclipsed. For more, consult this NASA safety information page.
We hope to see you at Softstar during our eclipse events! We wish you an amazing time witnessing what’s sure to be an unforgettable experience full or awe and wonder.