Solar eclipse: What you need to know


Solar eclipse: What you need to know

On April 8, millions of people across the country will stop to witness the solar eclipse. Unlike in 2017, when much of South Carolina enjoyed a total solar eclipse, we will experience a partial eclipse this time around. 

Depending on where you are in the Palmetto State, 75-85 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon.

Here are key things to know to maximize your enjoyment of the event:

When is the 2024 solar eclipse?

The solar eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8. The exact time of the eclipse depends on your location. In our region, most people will begin to see it just before 2 p.m. At 3:14 p.m., the moon will have covered 75-80 percent of the sun, and by 4:30 p.m., the eclipse will be complete.

Who will experience totality?

Everyone in the U.S. will experience a partial eclipse, but only people who live in the path of totality will experience a full solar eclipse.

The path of totality is the track where the moon’s shadow falls upon the earth. You must be somewhere inside the 108-122-mile-wide path to see the sun become completely eclipsed by the moon. Unfortunately, South Carolina is not within the path of totality. 

Portions of 15 states will experience totality during the April 8 event: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, as well as small parts of Tennessee and Michigan.

Although a total solar eclipse happens somewhere in the world once every 18 months or so, the same spot on Earth only gets a total solar eclipse every 375 years, according to NASA.

What will people in South Carolina experience?

If you’re viewing in South Carolina, the moon will block somewhere between 75-85 percent of the sun – never reaching full totality. The show will be better the closer you are to the Upstate where nearly 85 percent of the sun will be blocked out.

People along the coast will experience closer to a 75-80 percent partial eclipse.

Regardless of where you are in South Carolina, you should never remove your eclipse glasses while looking toward the sun. 

This will be the last eclipse visible in the Palmetto State until another partial eclipse in 2029.

Is there a chance it’s a total bust?

One way or the other, the eclipse will happen on April 8, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have a great view. Cloudy skies could seriously detract from the experience, so keep an eye on the weather forecast in the days leading up to the event. If the weather isn’t looking good, consider viewing from an alternate location.

How can I safely view the eclipse?

Check out our guide to safely watch the eclipse by going here.

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