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Solar Eclipse Information
General Information

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The City of Charleston is located along the path of totality of a total solar eclipse occurring on Monday, August 21, 2017. Totality, the period during which the sun is completely blocked by the moon, will be visible within a 70 mile wide swath across South Carolina, which includes the cities of Greenville, Columbia, and McClellanville in addition to Charleston. Locally, the event will begin at 1:16 p.m. and will last until 4:09 p.m. with totality occurring at 2:46 p.m. for approximately 2 minutes.

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, temporarily blocking the sun’s light. Total solar eclipses are considered very rare, only occurring every 375 years, on average, in a given location. The last solar eclipse observed in the continental United States occurred in 1979. Partial solar eclipses, viewed outside the path of totality, are experienced more frequently.

                  

What will I see during the eclipse?


In Charleston, the eclipse will begin at 1:16 p.m. At this time, the moon will begin to pass in front of the sun, incrementally blocking its light. A period of total darkness ("totality") will occur at 2:46 p.m. when the sun's light is entirely blocked by the moon and will last for just under 2 minutes. Following this period of totality, the moon will continue to move across the sun's path until the light becomes fully visible again at 4:09 p.m.

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Where can I watch the total solar eclipse in Charleston?

At the time of totality, approximately 2:46 p.m., the sun will be at a high position and will therefore be visible from most locations – not simply high vantage points or coastal areas. Residents will therefore be able to view the eclipse from their yards, neighborhoods, or city parks. Those wishing to avoid the heavy traffic expected from the anticipated influx of visitors are encouraged to utilize neighborhood parks for viewing. In order to maintain the availability of the city's parks for eclipse viewing, no private events have been permitted in these locations.