In the dark
The entire state of South Carolina will experience a solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The gray band indicates the path of totality, the only places where the total eclipse can be seen. The rest of the state will see a partial eclipse. Totality will be visible longer the closer you are to the blue center line.
Map illustration by Sharri Wolfgang, based on version at eclipse2017.org
Anybody in South Carolina—in fact, anybody in North America—will be able to see at least a partial solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017.
But if your heart is set on witnessing a total solar eclipse, you’re going to have to position yourself strategically.
A healthy stretch of South Carolina, about 70 miles wide through the center of the state, falls within the path of totality, where the moon will completely block the light from the sun. The closer you are to the center of that path, the longer you get to be in totality. Anyone outside that path—even just a smidgeon—will see only a partial eclipse.
During totality—and only then—no eclipse glasses or other eye-safety precautions are needed to view the eclipse. But eye protection is essential to prevent any eye damage while viewing the partial eclipse. Even those in the path of totality must wear eclipse glasses before and after the totality phase, while they are viewing the partial-eclipse phases.
Of the most populous cities in the state, Greenville, Columbia and Charleston are well inside the path of totality and will see one to two minutes of full darkness in the middle of the day.
The longest stretch of totality in South Carolina will be visible in Central, for 2 minutes, 38 seconds. For communities on the outer reaches of the totality path, near the edges of the shadow, totality times will be as little 22 seconds.
Look for the partial eclipse to start in the Upstate shortly after 1 p.m. Totality will begin around 2:36 p.m.
Near Columbia, the partial eclipse will start about 1:13 p.m., with totality beginning around 2:41 p.m.
In the Charleston area, the partial phase arrives around 1:16 p.m.; totality starts around 2:46 p.m.
To find out whether your community is in the path of totality and when to be outside to see the eclipse, visit eclipse2017.org, which has a list of every community in the path and the precise times those places can expect totality to start.
Total blackout – Get ready for the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse sweeping across South Carolina this summer on Aug. 21.
How to protect your eyes – Proper eye protection is critical for safely viewing partial and total solar eclipses. Use these tips to protect your vision.
The geometry of an eclipse – See how the positions of the sun, moon and earth create shadows that give us a partial or total solar eclipse.
By the numbers: The Great Solar Eclipse – A total solar eclipse is, for most people, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Take a look at the numbers that make the 2017 eclipse special.
Eclipse tips – First time viewing an eclipse? Get some advice about how to make the most of it.