February 26, 1979: Eclipse plunges Portland into darkness

February 26, 1979, there was a full eclipse of the sun that plunged Portland into darkness.

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PORTLAND, Ore. -- With the solar eclipse coming up, we decided to dive into the archives for the last day that Portland went dark. On February 26, 1979, a total solar eclipse plunged Portland into darkness at around 8 a.m.

KGW broadcast the eclipse live from locations around the region and, in a notable technical feat for the times, leased a private jet and fitted a 600 millimeter lens to a broadcast camera to fly high above the clouds and transmit live pictures.

The shots were at times shaky, but did capture the full eclipse, corona and the "diamond ring" effects of the event.

The 170-mile wide shadow of the moon came ashore off the Pacific and hurtled toward Portland at over 2,200 mph. Just moments later, at 8:14 a.m., Portland was in total darkness that lasted for just over two minutes.

KGW’s broadcast of the event (probably because of the inclement weather) was one of the highest watched locally televised events of that decade.

Complete coverage: 2017 solar eclipse

 

 

© 2017 KGW-TV


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