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Tips for a Viewing the Solar Eclipse

August 16, 2017

Solar Eclipse August 2017

We are less than a week away from the Great American Total Solar Eclipse! Those of us in or near South Carolina have struck astrological gold! A 70-mile-wide “path of totality” stretches right through the Palmetto State!

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, and either totally or partially obscures the sun from the view of us on Earth.  The last solar eclipse visible in the United States happened on Feb. 26, 1979 – a whopping 38 years ago!   The next total solar eclipse visible from the U.S. will be in 2024.

According to NASA, more than 300 million people in the U.S. will be able to directly view this celestial phenomenon on Monday, Aug. 21! The path of totality will span 14 states!

According to the folks at space.com, the sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona, becomes visible during a total solar eclipse. Sky watchers have reported seeing “great jets and ribbons of light, twisting and curling out into the sky.” Observers can also see the cloak of darkness moving toward them and then away from them just before and after totality.

If you are one of those millions of people who plan to view this solar eclipse, NASA has some important safety tips to keep in mind.

  1. Do not look directly at the sun, even when it is partially eclipsed. This can permanently damage your vision!
  2. Use solar eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers to view the eclipse.
  3. Check the authenticity of your eclipse viewing glasses or viewers. They should include: 
    • Certification information with a designation of ISO 12312-2 international standard
    • Manufacturer’s name and address printed on the product
  4. Do not use glasses that are scratched or wrinkled.
  5. Do not use homemade filters.
  6. Do not use ordinary sunglasses – even very dark ones.

If you are traveling in the path of totality, be prepared for what NASA is calling “one of the worst traffic days in national history.” While 12 million people live within the narrow band of totality, another 25 million live within a day’s drive of it, and the agency estimates that the population inside the path of totality may double on the day of the eclipse. Be sure to account for extra travel time, or stay home if increased traffic is just not your thing!

Our southeastern skies will begin to darken beginning shortly after 1 p.m. with totality (for those in the path of totality) lasting at most for two minutes and 40 seconds. In Charlotte, where Eastwood Homes is headquartered, our eclipse will begin at 1:12 p.m. and last until 4:04 p.m. It will peak with 98 percent of the sun obscured at 2:41 p.m.

In South Carolina, more than one million people are expected to visit the state to view the solar eclipse! Our Greenville team, homeowners, and an estimated 150,000 visitors will experience the total eclipse at 2:38 p.m. which will last for two minutes. Over in Columbia, where our sister company Fortress Builders is headquartered, the full eclipse will begin at 2:45 p.m. and last for two minutes and 35 seconds! In charming Charleston, the totality of the eclipse will begin around 2:46 p.m. and last for one minute and 34 seconds. As of now, more than 100 events are scheduled in Charleston, including a free interactive festival at the Bend near Ashley River!

Here are some helpful links to help you get the total benefit of this solar eclipse, wherever you are located:

Read a full list of safety tips from NASA here: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

Find the eclipse duration for your area here: https://www.space.com/33797-total-solar-eclipse-2017-guide.html

Find the exact time the eclipse will take place in your zip code here: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/7/25/16019892/solar-eclipse-2017-interactive-map

Find a list of more than 6,800 libraries distributing safety-certified glasses and holding viewing events and activities here: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/2017eclipse

For live coverage of the solar eclipse from coast to coast, including coverage from the International Space Station and other spacecraft and high-altitude aircraft and balloons, visit here on Monday.

Our Corporate and Charlotte offices will be enjoying the eclipse as a team right from our parking lot! Be sure to join us on our social media channels for photos of the fun! https://www.facebook.com/eastwoodhomes/

We’d love to hear how you plan to watch the solar eclipse and who you’ll be watching with! Are you traveling to get a better view, or watching it from work or home? Let us know in the comments below!