On August 21 a rare total solar eclipse is set to happen through the Carolinas and northeast Georgia. As we gear up for the event, here is a look at what you need to know.
WHAT IS IT? - A Total Solar Eclipse happens when the moon positions itself between the sun and the earth. The moon will completely cover the sun for about 3 minutes during the afternoon of August 21.
WHEN - It will begin at 1:09PM and we'll see the partial eclipse start. It will become a total eclipse (when the moon completely covers the sun) at 2:38-2:41PM. After that we'll still see a partial eclipse as the moon moves away from the sun's light through 4:02PM.
The last time the mainland U.S. saw a total eclipse was 1979 (in the northwest). The last time a total eclipse went from coast to coast (like this one) was 1918. The next total solar eclipse for the U.S. is scheduled for 2024 and that will be seen across the central part of the U.S.
WHERE - The eclipse will be most impressive along the totality line (totality is when the moon completely covers the sun) and that will exist across our area near Clemson and extend down to Columbia (see image attached)
HOW TO VIEW - You'll need special eclipse glasses that can be purchased online or at eye wear stores. You must wear them during the partial eclipse that starts just after 1PM. The only time you won't need them will be during totality when the entire sun is covered between 2:38-2:41. Glasses must go back on once the sun reemerges.
FUN FACT - During "totality" time of about 3 minutes the air temperature is likely to drop by around 5 degrees! It will look like nighttime!
HOW COULD WEATHER IMPACT IT - Clouds would diminish the effect of the eclipse. If it is very cloudy or perhaps raining in areas, you'll still notice it get dark when totality occurs, but the phenomenon will be much less impressive! Therefore, we are hoping for completely clear conditions on Aug. 21!