Oregon has long been predicted to be a scene of major eclipse traffic jams, and even by Sunday, that was proving to be true: The Oregon National Guard was called in to Madras, a small agricultural city in the sunny part of the state, east of the Cascades.
Traffic was at a standstill for hours Sunday afternoon, gridlocked as well more than 100,000 people flocked to this small, pleasant town of 7,000.
Madras, pronounced like glad or sad — not like the plaid fabric or the megalopolis in India — sits on the centerline of the eclipse's path of totality.
As darkness fell outside the Grand Ole Opry, the band onstage stopped playing. The temperature dropped. Cicadas started chirruping in the trees. Eclipse-watchers who had hidden in the shade to hide from the heat came out for one last look at the sun as dusk fell in midday and everything went dark.
Viewed through the proper protective glasses, everything was black except for a tiny sliver of the sun. Then the tiny sliver disappeared, and everyone took off their glasses and looked at where the sun used to be.
Thousands — millions? — of eyes gazed toward the heavens Monday for the first total solar eclipse to cross the United States in nearly 100 years. It swept on a “path of totality” from Oregon through South Carolina.
Before and after the event, the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena is celebrating with the exhibit “Eclipse.”
“I wanted to reference the symbolism we’ve attached to solar eclipses and the profound emotion and transcendent experiences people have,” gallery director Stephen Nowlin said. “I wanted to keep the show in the context of real science, not new ageism or pseudoscience.”
The team from Rancho Santa Margarita in south Orange County had just taken the field for pregame warm-ups at about 2:40 p.m. EDT Monday when the solar eclipse reached its height here at the site of the Little League World Series.
Few of the players looked up, but many fans turned their backs on the field and gazed toward the skies while ESPN announcers Karl Ravech and Aaron Boone left their broadcast booth and came down into the stands for a better look.
The eclipse was about 85% of totality in north-central Pennsylvania, but that was enough to darken the sky considerably, turning midafternoon to dusk for about half an hour. The temperature dropped about 10 degrees.
Although the moon will push in front of the sun and darken the skies on Monday, California’s solar-heavy electricity grid isn’t expected to run short on energy to power homes, businesses and industry.
The manager of the state’s electricity grid, the California Independent System Operator, said it’s prepared for the widely anticipated solar eclipse that begins about 9 a.m.
The moon will block the sun for 2 minutes and 40 seconds about an hour after the eclipse begins. California is too far south for total blockage of the sun, but eclipse viewers in the state will see the moon cover about 50% to about 90% depending on where they are.