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
Make a day of it and climb aboard the Shenanigan, Sundog’s premier sailing vessel, to experience this incredible natural phenomenon from the wide open seas. Bohicket Marina, 1880 Andell Bluff Blvd., John's Island. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (843) 991-2894.

What better place to view the eclipse than on the water off of Capers Island? For this gathering hosted by Charlestown Charters, be sure to BYOB (bring your own boat, that is). Capers Island. Noon-6 p.m. Free.

Experience this once-in-a-lifetime event at Freshfields Village's family-friendly eclipse festival. Activities include a free Sun Salutations yoga session lead by the Suite 33 team, a "Solar Sidewalk" chalk art contest, music from a live DJ, steaming of NASA's eclipse coverage directly to the Green, and more. Additionally, a number of Freshfields' retail stores host special events and deals. Freshfields Village, 165 Village Green Ln., Kiawah Island. Monday, 1-4pm. Free. (843)768-6491,

Kick back and relax on the historic Morris Island while you wait for the eclipse to occur. Enjoy beach games, fun in the water, and snacks. Tideline Tours will be shuttling groups to Morris Island 12:45 and 1:30 pm. Viewing glasses will be provided for the eclipse. Morris Island. 12:45pm. $70.

Calling all adventurers: Charleston Outdoor Adventures invites you to grab a paddle and experience the eclipse from the open water. Choose from guided tours aboard boats, kayaks, or paddleboards, or rent gear to go out and explore on your own. All tours include a trip to Morris Island at the time of the eclipse for a unique and peaceful view. Charleston Outdoor Adventures, 1971 Bowens Island Rd., James Island. 12:45-2:15 p.m. $47-$30. (843) 795-0330.

Bring the whole family to Daniel Island’s MUSC Health Stadium for a kid-friendly eclipse-viewing party. With astronomy-related activities and a full kids zone, as well as local food, drinks, and entertainment, it’s sure to be an afternoon to remember. MUSC Health Stadium, 1990 Daniel Island Dr., Daniel Island. Gates open 11 a.m. $8; free military & child under 12.

Nexton, Summerville invites you, your friends and families to experience the total solar eclipse in celebration absolutely free! With an incredible view of the event from great lawn at Brighton Park Village, the first 100 guests will receive complimentary solar eclipse viewing glasses. Bring your lawn chair, blankets, and a couple of bucks because KIng Pops will be there to cool everyone down in the Charleston August heat. If you're looking for a next-level experience, join Nexton for an inspirational yoga session during the eclipse for a chance to truly spiritually connect with the sun, moon, and stars of our solar system! The class is also free so be sure to bring a mat and towel. Nexton, 106 Greeting House Rd., Summerville. Monday, 2-4pm. Free. (843)900-3200,

Visit Charleston Tea Plantation on the afternoon of August 21st for for a free admission special, including perks such as Sun Tea samples, tours of the grounds, and a spectacular view of the Eclipse. Bring your own viewing glasses! Charleston Tea Plantation, 6617 Maybank Highway, Wadmalaw Island. Monday, 10am-4pm. Free. (843)559-0383,

Join yogis of all fitness levels for a one-of-a-kind class in the shadow of the eclipse. Perfect your tree pose as the Moon blocks the Sun over the water at the Mount Pleasant Pier. Mount Pleasant Pier, 71 Harry M. Hallman Jr. Blvd., Mount Pleasant. 1:30 p.m. $8; $5 online. (843) 795-4386.

Craft beer fans unite for this afternoon of brews and views. Revelry and Tradesmen team up for a dual location party. Start the day off at Trademan’s new King Street location, then head to Revelry’s rooftop to take in the eclipse. Revelry Brewing, 10 Conroy St, and Tradesman Brewing, 1647 King St. Noon-10pm. Free. (843) 203-6194.


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