ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – From the coast of Oregon to South Carolina, the rare sight of a total summer eclipse will soon take place.
There’s plenty of astronomical anticipation for the event that is coming up on August 21.
It’ll be the first eclipse to take place coast to coast in nearly 100 years, and there’s lots of prep work being done in the Charleston-area for an event that only lasts about 2 minutes.
What happens exactly? It will turn from day to night, you’ll see the sky start to darken, and the moon will pass in front of the sun.
While that’s a preview of what to expect during the summer eclipse, what the event means for the region is another story.
“This doesn’t come about very often in one’s lifetime. We expect a large crowd throughout the Lowcountry but a lot of people are going to want to see the eclipse from the beach,” said Mayor Richard Cronin of the City of Isle of Palms.
Hotels are already sold out, South Carolina camping grounds are expected to fill up, and many are wondering how community centers and parks will host the large number of eclipse-chasers ready to stake their claims at the beaches to watch the event.
It’s all because South Carolina is one of about a dozen states with the best chances to view the eclipse.
Mayor Cronin said on the day of the eclipse, he expects a big blowout and is ready, with special sun-viewing spectating glasses to hand out to those without special telescopes.
The weather will be key in terms of viewing the eclipse. And to safely watch the sun surpass the moon, it’s best to use glasses that are specially made for that purpose.
Pictures will require a solar filter, mainly to protect your eyes. It’s unclear if the rays will damage smartphone cameras.
Still, there won’t be another eclipse like the one expected this summer until 2045. Here is a list of watch parties to help you plan for August 21:
– NASA set up an official list of viewing locations at eclipse2017.nasa.gov.
– There are more than 100 eclipse events listed on Go Dark Charleston, found at http://www.charlestoncvb.com/eclipse/.
– Isle of Palms will start music, educational events, and activities for children at 11:30 a.m., mostly taking place at Front Beach.
– One of the main events is the Eclipse on a Warship, which will take place on the U.S.S. Yorktown. The official site: https://www.patriotspoint.org/news-and-events/event/eclipse-on-a-warship/