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Lowell Observatory to Host Eclipse Event in Madras, Oregon


The Lowell Observatory Solar Eclipse Experience will take place on August 20 and 21 at Madras High School in Madras, Oregon. Hosted by Lowell Observatory of Flagstaff, Arizona, this educational event is centered on the August 21 total solar eclipse, the first to cross the United States from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans since 1918.

Featured activities include eclipse viewing, presentations by professional astronomers and educators, science demonstrations, and a star party. The Science Channel will carry live broadcasts of the event via its worldwide TV and online network.

A team of Lowell astronomers and educators will be joined by amateur astronomers, high school teachers and students, and other volunteers to share the excitement and meaning of the eclipse and, on a larger scale, the wonders of the universe.

Activities will occur at the Madras High School football field and adjoining Madras Performing Arts Center. The event kicks off on Sunday, August 20 at 6 p.m. with a trio of indoor presentations, followed by a star party that will run until 10 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to look at Saturn, star clusters, galaxies, and more through a variety of telescopes. All of Sunday evening’s activities will be free of charge.

The following morning—on eclipse day—gates to the school will open at 6 a.m. A series of indoor presentations by Lowell astronomers and educators will run from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. These will begin at the top of every hour except 10 a.m., when the eclipse is nearing its total phase

During the eclipse, which lasts from 9:06 – 11:41 a.m. (totality is from 10:19:34 – 10:21:36 a.m.), the football field will be home to a variety of eclipse observing stations and educational activities. A Lowell astronomer will explain, via the stadium’s speaker system, the various stages and phenomena of the eclipse.

The admission fee for Monday’s events is $20 per person at the door, but discounts are available for tickets purchased in advance: $10 per person through May 30; $15 per person between May 31 – July 21. Tickets may be purchased at the Observatory’s eclipse website. Admission gives complete access to all the day’s activities, and guests will also receive a commemorative pair of eclipse viewing glasses.

The path of totality is restricted to a 70-mile-wide band stretching in a southeasterly route from the Pacific Northwest to the middle of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Lowell chose Madras as the site for its event because Madras is ideally situated along this path and also, based on past weather patterns, has a high probability of clear skies during the eclipse.

Lowell Observatory is a non-profit organization founded in 1894 and dedicated to carrying out cutting-edge astronomical research and sharing the latest discoveries with the public. The Observatory is home to groundbreaking discoveries such as Pluto and the first evidence of the expanding nature of the universe. Today, Lowell astronomers play a leading role in such projects as the New Horizons mission to Pluto and searches for planets around other stars.

Event details and ticket information are available at