Eclipse 2017

total solar eclipse in Australia

A total solar eclipse was visible from the Northern tip of Australia on Nov. 13, 2012 at 3:35 EST. The light halo visible around the edges of the moon is the sun’s atmosphere, the corona. Image courtesy of Romeo Durscher

Those of us here in South Carolina are about to witness a unique and spectacular event – a total solar eclipse and Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston are in the path of totality! This total solar eclipse is the first in the continental United States in nearly 40 years and takes place on Aug. 21, 2017.

This celestial event is a solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location. For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979.

There are numerous locations around the Charleston area where you can safely witness this event. Safety is of extreme importance! You never want to look directly at the sun without appropriate protection except during totality. That could severely hurt your eyes. There are many ways to safely view an eclipse of the sun including direct viewing – which requires some type of filtering device, like eclipse glasses (make sure they are ISO certified) and indirect viewing where you project an image of the sun onto a screen. For a cool projector that you can make, check out

For locations around the lowcountry, check out our map at:

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