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Event Calendar

Solar Saturday
Aug 12 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Bob Yoesle from Friends of the Goldendale Observatory will present a Solar Viewing free to the public Saturday, August 12 from 11 am to 4 pm at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. Bob will present the Great American Eclipse at 3 pm in the Murdock Theater, included with museum admission or $5 for the program only.

VIEW THE SURFACE OF THE SUN – From 11 am to 3 pm, using special safely-filtered telescopes you can get an unbelievable view of the sun.  Bob Yoesle will gladly explain what you are looking at, and the fascinating physics which underlies these incredible features on our dynamic sun. (Never look directly at the sun – especially using a telescope – without approved filtration.) Our star is a cauldron of incredibly hot gases, sunspots as big as Earth, and loops of gas called filaments and prominences. This event will be held, weather permitting (sorry, we can’t control clouds or smoke!) from 11 am to 3 pm. This event is FREE to the public and will be held outside the museum. Museum admission still applies for visitors who wish to see the exhibits.

Don’t miss a presentation this day on the Great American Eclipse from 3 to 4 pm inside the museum in the Murdock Theater.


Bob Yoesle from the Friends of the Goldendale Observatory will be on hand Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 3 to 4 pm to offer advice and a presentation on what this solar phenomenon will be like. The eclipse presentation will be inside the Murdock Theater and will be included with museum admission, or $5 for those who wish to see the program only.

Yoesle will take a look at historical eclipse expeditions, and help you prepare for your own historical journey to view the solar eclipse. A total eclipse has a profound impact on those who experience the phenomenon; it can alarm animals and affect their behavior as it produces “shadow bands,” rows of shadows that move rapidly across the ground.

Do you know how to prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime event? The total solar eclipse of Monday, August 21, 2017 – also known as “The Great American Eclipse” – will be the first total eclipse to touch on American soil since 1991; the first on the mainland since 1979; and the first to sweep across the entire country since 1918.

However, the August 21, 2017 eclipse will not be a total solar eclipse anywhere in the state of Washington or even in The Dalles. You’ll need to travel to Central Oregon to view the eclipse as it passes in a wide arc through the middle of Oregon. Learn what you can do to prepare to make this lifetime event the memory of a lifetime.

“Nothing you read, see, or hear can prepare you for the spine-tingling, goosebump-inducing experience of the total eclipse.  You do not simply see a total eclipse. You experience it. You are immersed in it. You are completely overwhelmed by it. Many people say that the experience of totality changes their lives.”   — Being in the Shadow, Dr. Kate Russo, author, psychologist, and eclipse chaser. ​

​​Total solar eclipses take place somewhere on the Earth every year or two, but are confined to a few fleeting moments along a narrow strip about 60 to 100 miles wide, and are often located in remote or inhospitable regions of the planet. This year, the 2017 Solar Eclipse path of totality in Oregon will pass over Lincoln City and Newport, Salem, Corvallis, Warm Springs, Madras, the John Day Fossil Beds, Dayville, and John Day.

Make your plans, be prepared, and enjoy this incredible moment in nature.


Please remember the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” (example shown at left) or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. The museum store, Columbia River Trading Company has solar eclipse glasses for sale. (You never need to pay museum admission to shop in the store!)


Great American Eclipse

Goldendale Observatory

NASA Eclipse information website

NASA Eclipse 2017

Solar Eclipse Educational “Downloadables”

Solar Eclipse Eye Safety Information

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center is located at 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, Oregon, 97058.

During the month of August, the Chenoweth Bridge will be closed for construction. Take the I-84 detour exit 76 at Rowena, and travel east 5 miles along Highway 30 to get to the museum. For more information call 541-296-8600 ext. 201 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm daily.