2017 Solar Eclipse

On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see a total eclipse of the Sun. South Carolina will be a significant destination for the eclipse because it will be the nearest spot within the path of totality for at least 100 million Americans in the Atlantic Seaboard and Florida.

Cell phone service and smartphone Internet are expected to be unavailable inside the path of totality due to the large concentration of people. Cell phone companies will reinforce their network capacity for emergency responders. However, this will not increase capacity for commercial use. Visitors to South Carolina for the eclipse are encouraged to print paper versions of directions, lodging and restaurant reservations, and tickets to local eclipse events they plan to attend.

Ways to Connect

Making History with a Total Solar Eclipse

Aug 21, 2017
Recently identified photo of scientist, academics and dignitaries gathered to witness the May 28, 1900 solar eclipse in Winnsboro, SC.
Photo Courtesy of Fairfield County Museum and Historical Society

Today residents and visitors in South Carolina will witness a total solar eclipse, a rare phenomenon that hasn't been seen in the state since March 7, 1970 and won't occur again in the United States until 2024.

Eclipse!

Aug 21, 2017
The path of the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse.
scemd.org/TotalEclipse

A total solar eclipse, visible in South Carolina, is an opportunity to study the sun.

NPR Live Blog -- Total Solar Eclipse Crosses The U.S.

Aug 21, 2017
On Nov. 13, 2012, a narrow corridor in the southern hemisphere experienced a total solar eclipse. The corridor lay mostly over the ocean but also cut across the northern tip of Australia where both professional and amateur astronomers gathered to watch.
Courtesy of Romeo Durscher/NASA

This blog will go live Monday, August 21, at 10 am ET and will run until approximately 3 pm ET. (The eclipse itself is slated to begin in the U.S. around 1:16 pm ET and end about 2:48 pm ET.)

It is indeed dark during the day as a total solar eclipse makes its way from Oregon to South Carolina. Eleven states are in the path of total darkness. Follow the astronomical phenomenon's journey across America along with NPR journalists and others experiencing the eclipse.

The Magic And Mythology Of The Solar Eclipse

Aug 18, 2017

Eclipse mania sweeps the nation. We’ll dig into the science, the history, the culture, and the folklore of the astronomical phenomenon.

Doctors are warning spectators not to look directly at the sun without protection during Monday’s eclipse. It can cause permanent damage like solar retinopathy or blindness, especially for people outside the path of totality.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Dr. Nhung H. Brandenburg, president of the Georgia Optometric Association, about how to view the eclipse safely.

In July of 1878, Vassar professor Maria Mitchell led a team of astronomers to the new state of Colorado to observe a total solar eclipse. In a field outside of Denver, they watched as the sun went dark and a feathery fan of bright tendrils — the solar corona — faded into view.

SCETV

Preview the great eclipse of August 21st, 2017, interactively! Pick your location on the Earth, scroll through time, and see if your view will be a partial eclipse (in the penumbra) or a total eclipse (in the umbra).

With only days left before the total solar eclipse, the demand for solar filter glasses is high. In the Midlands, Richland Library has acquired additional glasses and will begin to distribute them Friday, August 18 at 9 AM. Community and media relations coordinator Emily Stoll says unlike the library’s first round of glasses distribution, there will be some limitations to what they can provide.

Stoll said the library was able to make a special order for the glasses through the Columbia Visitors Bureau and confirms the glasses are certified and safe to use.

May 20, 2012, eclipse viewing at Arches National Park, Utah.
NPS/Neal Herbert

People across the nation are anxiously awaiting the total solar eclipse August 21st. South Carolinians are among them, as the Palmetto State will be one of the best places in the United States to view the event.  The 65-mile wide path of totality, or area of total eclipse, will pass through Greenville, Columbia and parts of Charleston.  Lawn chairs and sun block will help people to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event.  But two Midlands ophthalmologists remind us that the most essential  element to viewing the eclipse is proper eye protection.  The sun’s rays can burn the retinas of unprotected eyes and produce legal blindness.  Today we get good tips on safely watching the eclipse.

Nile [CC0 1.0] via Pixabay

Much of South Carolina will experience heavy traffic on and around Aug. 21. That’s the day the much-anticipated total solar eclipse will pass through the state in a 65-mile wide path from Greenville to Charleston.   Many law enforcement officers will have their hands full that day with traffic both from locals and the many visitors the state expects, some say up to a million people statewide. 

Mariah Williams helped test a new Braille guide to the Aug. 21 eclipse written by educators from the College of Charleston.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Millions of people nationwide are anticipating the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. It will be a spectacle to behold, but some people can’t behold it: the blind. For this reason, College of Charleston geology professor Cassandra Runyon, along with fellow C of C geologist Cynthia Hall and a colleague in  Pennsylvania, developed a braille guide to the eclipse for blind and visually impaired people who want to know more about the event and what it entails.  They were aided by blind College of Charleston recent graduate Mariah Williams, who helped "field test" the book, which was printed by NASA.  Five thousand copies have been printed and distributed to libraries, schools for the blind and other service organizations nationally.

The path of the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse.
scemd.org/TotalEclipse

With more than one million visitors expected in South Carolina for the total solar eclipse, representatives from state agencies urged residents to plan ahead.

“Wherever you want to be when this event occurs, don’t be on the road. Don’t be rushing,” said Major General Robert Livingston with the state’s Adjutant Generals office. “It’s going to be a historical event, treat it like that.”

SC Emergency Management Division eclipse logo
SC Emergency Management Division

South Carolina's emergency managers are planning for an estimated influx of more than one million visitors into the state for several days on either side of the August 2017 solar eclipse. The SC Emergency Management Division advises the state's citizens to be prepared for this historic event by keeping safety in mind.

USC Library Shines Light on Eclipses in Literature

Aug 3, 2017
Astronomy text from the Robert Arial collection, image for personal research use only.
Makayla Gay

Columbia is preparing for an estimated million visitors to come this month to witness a total solar eclipse, a scientific phenomenon that inspires awe and wonder in those who view it. The world goes dark in daytime as the moon completely covers the sun. Imagine what it must have been like for people in the past who didn’t necessarily understand what was happening.

On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will be seen along a roughly 70-mile wide path through South Carolina from the Upstate through Greenville and Columbia to Charleston.
NASA/Hinode/XRT, via Wikimedia Commons

This summer’s total solar eclipse is a rare event for the Palmetto State.  Normally a total eclipse doesn’t return to the same spot for close to 400 years, but this will be the second in only 47 years for the folks in Sumter and the surrounding area.  Hap Griffin remembers seeing the last eclipse as an 11-year-old on March 7, 1970.  He said he still recalls how "blown away" he was in the backyard of a friend.   Nearby, the Rev. Joel Osborne climbed a forest tower to take in the awesome celestial  event, and it was a push along his spiritual journey, he said.

Solar eclipse - November 13, 2012.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will cover a 70- mile-wide strip of South Carolina from Greenville through Columbia to Charleston. University of South Carolina Astronomy Professor Steve Rodney is already making plans for the event. The last few days have seen the sun in the same place in the sky it will be on Aug. 21, so Rodney and his students can prepare well for the once-in-a lifetime event in the Midlands. They’ve located where the sun will be to make sure there will be no obstructions, and he’s got students scouting the best locations on campus for eclipse watching.

NASA Image and Video Gallery

It’s been in the news quite a bit already this year, and South Carolina is already gearing up for an influx of tourists on August 21st.  It’s on that day the moon will completely block the sun and daytime will become a deep twilight.  Many observers who have witnessed a total solar eclipse have described it as emotionally powerful and usually, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Even though much of the country will be able to witness portions of the eclipse, the total eclipse will only be visible on a narrow track stretching from Oregon to South Carolina.  So as you can imagine,

As Observatory Manager at the South Carolina State Museum, Dr. Matthew Whitehouse is keeping busy with a few preparations for the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21st—he has even written a piece of music inspired by the event. The astronomy educator is also an organist and composer, and doesn’t mind taking an interdisciplinary approach when it comes to celestial phenomena. In fact, merging seemingly separate fields is one of his major interests.

Visualizations by Ernie Wright / NASA/GSFC

It may be winter now, but big plans are being made for this summer, when portions of South Carolina will see something that hasn’t occurred here in nearly a century: a total solar eclipse.  NASA has estimated nearly one million people will come to the Palmetto State to view this exciting phenomenon.  Midlands tourism spokesperson Kelly Barbery says Columbia is well positioned to get the longest exposure to the eclipse – just over two and a half minutes – and as the third largest city in America in the eclipse’s path, it is preparing activities for the many visitors it expects.