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ASTROBLOG: One Year Away From a Total Eclipse of the Sun

solar eclipse map 2017 blog

Did you know? One year from now, on Mon. Aug. 21, Columbia, SC will be one of the best places to witness the Solar Eclipse of 2017?! A large portion of the United States will be able see a partial eclipse, but Columbia will be one of a handful of cities to see the amazing spectacle of a total solar eclipse.

As 2017 Solar Eclipse Headquarters for South Carolina, the State Museum is already hard at work planning exciting events, programs, solar and night-sky viewing and more. We hope to provide opportunities that will make the 2017 Solar Eclipse a great experience for South Carolinians – and visitors from all over the world!

Next year, the SC State Museum will be hosting a fun-filled weekend, from August 19 – 21, of solar eclipse related events leading up to a special opportunity to view the eclipse at the museum. Activities will include:

  • Boeing Observatory and observatory terrace open for solar viewing on Sat. and Sun.

  • The Robert B. Ariail Collection of Astronomy/Telescope Gallery tours.

  • Special BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Planetarium shows.

  • Evening observing opportunities.

  • Educational programs developed specifically for use in South Carolina classrooms. SC Teachers, make sure you sign up for the museum’s Teacher Enews to stay up-to-date on our educational plans for the 2017 Solar Eclipse!

You can also go ahead and put these dates on your calendar, you won’t want to miss them!

  • Solar Eclipse Soiree, Sat., Aug. 19

  • Solar Eclipse Totality Party, Mon. Aug. 21


So, what exactly is a solar eclipse anyway?

Solar Viewing for Eclipse Blog

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, causing the Moon to temporarily cast its shadow on Earth. Total solar eclipses are only visible to those located in the path of the Moon’s shadow as it crosses the Earth. Columbia is located close to the center of this path of totality, which is less than 100 miles wide. A total solar eclipse has not been visible from the United States since 1979, and the path of the 2017 eclipse traverses the entire continental US. This has some astronomy fans referring to this event as the “Great American Eclipse.”

Expect to see lots more exciting information from your 2017 Eclipse Headquarters over the next year. Make sure not miss any of it by signing up for our SCSM E-Newsletter!