Monday, August 21, 2017
Where will you be? #totaleclipsechs
On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse will traverse this continent from coast to coast—for the first time in 99 years— and then take its leave of the U.S. right here on our shores. While anyone in the country can glimpse a partial eclipse on this phenomenal day, Charleston will join a scattering of cities lined up to witness the Moon fully blot out the Sun. Experts predict that this will be history’s most watched eclipse: public schools will be out for the occasion, and the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau foresees a vast influx of “umbraphiles” in a race to see this space case. So where will you be when the out-of-this-world spectacle drops its velvet curtain? Here, brush up on the science behind the eclipse, learn what to expect from this special “solabration,” and plan ahead for your own party in the path.
South Carolina welcomes the eclipse at 2:36 p.m. near Greenville and Anderson, and a mere 12 minutes later, the shadow will have reached our coast. Its center line bisects lakes Marion and Moultrie and then splits the Francis Marion National Forest before heading out to sea via the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge below McClellanville. Those watching along this central path can expect the longest total eclipse duration, some two minutes and 34 seconds, beginning at around 2:47 p.m., while viewers in Mount Pleasant should catch two minutes of full coverage. Charleston rests at the southerly edge of the sight’s 70-mile-wide path, so the city will experience a shorter window of total coverage—about 90 seconds—but will have a better opportunity of glimpsing the red chromosphere and rainbow horizon than those at the path’s direct center. To learn precisely when and how long you’ll get to see the blackout from an exact location, visit NASA’s interactive map at eclipse2017.nasa.gov.
The moon starts to overlap the Sun; the eclipse begins.
The moon covers the entire disc of the Sun; total eclipse begins.
The max phase of a total solar eclipse; only the Sun’s corona is visible.
The Moon starts moving away, and parts of the Sun’s disc reappear.
The Moon stops overlapping the Sun; the eclipse ends.