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Solar eclipse 2017: Aerial photos show staggering number of people gathering in Oregon to see event

Oregon will be the first state in America to experience the eclipse 

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Monday 21 August 2017 18:53 BST
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Visitors from Seattle try out their eclipse glasses on the sun at a gathering of eclipse viewers in Salem, Oregon
Visitors from Seattle try out their eclipse glasses on the sun at a gathering of eclipse viewers in Salem, Oregon

Thousands of people have descended on Oregon to witness the total solar eclipse, with the state first to witness the “line of totality” where the sun appears completely covered by the moon.

Oregon State Police have been documenting the increase in traffic across Oregon since last week, showing aerial pictures of a 15-mile stretch of backed up traffic on Thursday as people travelled to the state to be ready for the eclipse.

On Sunday aerial shots from Prineville Police Department showed the staggering size of the crowds gathered at the Symbiosis Gathering, also called the Oregon Eclipse Festival 2017, taking place on the Big Summit Prairie, and of the Oregon Star party.

Around 30,000 people are estimated to be at the week-long festival, where people will witness the solar event for just a few minutes.

Monday’s solar eclipse is expected to be the most observed and photographed in history. Oregon state police have reminded people hoping to watch the solar event that stopping, standing and parking on highways is prohibited.

Oregon will be the first state in America to experience the eclipse, which will be seen across a main drag stretching along a narrow corridor down to South Carolina.

The event is held on private land (Prineville Police Department )
The festival, near Prineville, lies in the path of totality (Prineville Police Department )
Around 30,000 people are understood to be at the festival (Prineville Police Department )

It will be the first total solar eclipse to sweep coast-to-coast across the US in 99 years.

Additional reporting by AP

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