In case you’ve been out of the loop the past few weeks, you may not have heard that Monday, August 21 is the solar eclipse. It’s a historic moment and people from across the country are expected to flock to the Lowcountry, as our area will be in the path of totality.
If all of this just sounds like Greek to you, then this is what you need to know:
- This is the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in 99 years. However, the U.S. last saw a total eclipse in 1979.
- Put simply, a total solar eclipse is when the moon completely covers the sun.
- If you are in the path of totality (like we are), you can watch the moon completely cover the disk of the sun, or the point where the eclipse reaches totality.
- The time and duration of totality depends on where you’re located inside the path (for us, totality starts around 2:45 p.m. and will last for approximately 2 minutes and 32 seconds).
- Outside the path of totality, viewers will be able to see a partial solar eclipse.
- The only states experiencing totality include Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
- The entire thing will take 1 hour and 33 minutes to get from the West coast to the East coast.
- You should not look directly at the sun during the eclipse without the appropriate eye protection.
- The sky will go completely dark for a few minutes and temperatures will drop.
- Three conditions come into play during an eclipse: the moon is in the “new moon” phase, the moon crosses the exact plane of Earth’s orbit and the moon is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit.
- This is a historic event you won’t want to miss — see what viewing parties are happening nearby!