Monday, August 21, 2017

Where will you be? #totaleclipsechs


2017 Great American Solar Eclipse: The Grand Finale - Charleston, SC

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.



When & Where to Watch

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


Embedded thumbnail for The Great American Eclipse: Grand Finale in Charleston
The Great American Eclipse: Grand Finale in Charleston

Embedded thumbnail for Alaska Airlines Solar Eclipse Flight #870
Alaska Airlines Solar Eclipse Flight #870

Embedded thumbnail for Total Solar Eclipse in Svalbard 2015 (Crowd Reaction)
Total Solar Eclipse in Svalbard 2015 (Crowd Reaction)

Embedded thumbnail for Total Solar Eclipse March 29, 2006 Anatalya, Turkey
Total Solar Eclipse March 29, 2006 Anatalya, Turkey

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Get Ready for the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Embedded thumbnail for 5 ways to safely view the 2017 total solar eclipse
5 ways to safely view the 2017 total solar eclipse


Phases of Total Solar Eclipse


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.


“During a total solar eclipse, a 10- to 15-degree drop in temperature wouldn’t be unusual,” says Dr. Joe Carson of CofC’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. “Breezes may kick up, and birds will likely quiet.”

Immediately before and after the eclipse, be sure to check out large white or light-colored horizontal surfaces, such as the hood of a car. You should be able to spy undulating lines of light and dark, similar to waves. Scientists believe the optical effect is caused by the thin slices of light passing through atmospheric winds.

To commemorate the eclipse, the U.S. Postal Service will reveal a hot new stamp on June 20. It’s the first to utilize thermochromic ink so that a secret image of the Moon can be uncovered using heat from a finger.

This effect occurs during the few seconds before and after totality while an extremely small fraction of the Sun’s photosphere is still visible.

So named for the astronomer who vividly accounted for the phenomenon, these spots of sunlight break through the cratered surface of the Moon as it slips into and out of its total eclipse position. The necklace-like image bookends the beginning and end of the full eclipse.

A striking display during totality will be the Sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, as well as prominences—flares of gas held in place by the Sun’s magnetic field. “You may see streamers of light pointing from the Sun’s silhouette, as well as strange colors in the sky,” says Carson. For 360 degrees, the horizon will glow as if in an endless sunset. And the Sun’s chromosphere could fire up a thin red ring around the Moon.


Brush up on tips for safe telescope and cameras use and learn about the best way to capture a photo during the brief totality.


Local events to “solarbrate” the eclipse
Surround yourself with history while viewing the eclipse at the Charleston Museum. Exhibits are open to the visitors through the day and children entertainment is in the front lobby. The Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting Street. $12; $5 children; under 3 free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (843) 722-2996.

Climb aboard this three-deck vessel reminiscent of an old Mississippi River boat for a two-hour cruise including a barbecue buffet from Swig & Swine, live music from Shrimp City Slim, and viewing glasses. Charleston City Marina, 17 Lockwood Dr. Boarding 12:30 p.m.; cruise 2-4 p.m. $65; $40 child under 12. (843) 722-1112.

Passengers on the 90-minute tour enjoy a cocktail and snacks as well as eclipse viewing glasses. Charleston Maritime Center, 10 Wharfside St. Board 12:30 p.m.; cruise 1-3 p.m. $40; $30 child under 12. (843) 722-1112.

Make your eclipse day into a weekend event by camping out under the stars on August 20th at Yonder Field. The day of the eclipse, attendees of all ages can compete in the Great Inflatable Race, groove to the sounds of Uncle Kracker, Edwin McCain, and Corey Smith, and cap off the day with outdoor film. And of course, have a clear view of the total eclipse. Yonderfield, 180 Log Cabin Rd., Bowman. Sunday 4 p.m.-Tuesday 10 a.m. $300-$25. (843) 724-9186.

In honor of the eclipse, this unique variety show that takes audiences on a musical tour of Charleston’s rich heritage puts on a special edition of the performance. Featuring everything from gospel to Gershwin, the celebratory musical revue is sure to be the perfect ending to your day of stargazing. Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St. 7 p.m. $28; $26 senior; $16 student. (843) 270-4903.

Experience the eclipse while drifting on the waters off Caper's Island at HOBA's boating extravaganza. If you don't have a boat, HOBA invites you to download their app and book a ride with one of their captains to enjoy the fun. With DJ's in attendance, prizes up for grabs, and free viewing glasses provided for the event, there's no better way to enjoy this once in a life time event. Caper's Island. Noon.

Take in this once-in-a-lifetime astronomical occurrence from the Gibbes Museum’s beautiful Lenhardt Garden. In honor of the event, the museum is offering a special two-for-one admission price, and guests are free to wander the museum’s exhibits, including “Artists Painting Artists” and “Perspectives on Place,” before and after the eclipse. Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $15; $13 senior; $10 student; free under 17. (843) 722-2706.

Celebrate the eclipse by joining in on some bowling-fun at The Alley for their special edition of "Light up the Lanes." There will be cosmic bowling, complete with lights, lasers and beats from DJ Precise. They Alley, 131 Columbus St. 8pm. (843) 818-4080

Visit The Bend, a 17-acre waterfront located on the banks of the Ashley River, to participate in the unforgettable spectacle that is the total solar eclipse. This event, organized by the City of North Charleston and The Post and Courier, will feature a live musical performance from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, a Grammy Award-winning family hip-hop artist, Low Country STEM science projects including a robotics demonstration, and members of Boeing will be there to perform their longest ever trebuchet launch. The event is free and family friendly! The Bend, 3775 Azalea Dr., North Charleston. Noon-4 p.m. (843) 577-7327,

Bring the whole family to St. Andrews Park & Playground where there will be music, concessions, food trucks, yard games, as well as a Kidz Zone filled with crafts and water inflatables. While the Kidz Zone is $5.00, admission to the park for eclipse viewing is free. Don't forget to bring your tent, chairs, and blankets! St. Andrews Parks & Playground, 1095 Playground Rd. (843) 763-4360. Free.


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