Charleston is quite a buzz right now in anticipation for the solar eclipse that is expected to arrive on August 21, 2017! 

People from all over the country are expected to visit Charleston that weekend to catch the solar eclipse as Charleston is set to experience the eclipse from 2:46pm - 2:48pm. What’s even cooler? Charleston has one of the longest viewing times in the entire state of South Carolina! 

Why in the world is this solar eclipse so popular right now (so much so that schools are closed on August 21)? Well, it has been nearly 100 years since Charleston has experienced a total solar eclipse, and it just so happens that we are in the direct path this year! 

Some might be wondering what in the world a total solar eclipse even means (especially if science was not your favorite subject in school). During a solar eclipse, the moon crosses directly in front of the sun during its orbit. 

Image Sourced from Go Dark Charleston

There are 3 different types of solar eclipses: total, annular, and partial. What’s even cooler about this solar eclipse? Everyone in the country will get to experience a partial eclipse no matter where they are located!

Image Sourced from Go Dark Charleston

With South Carolina as one of 12 states in the country expected to have the best viewing of the total solar eclipse, hotels in our area are already booked out completely! There has been an estimated number thrown around for how many people are expected to be in Charleston for the total blackout - about 1 million! 

There are events happening all over the city and surrounding areas for you to experience the best viewing of the solar eclipse in a safe environment! Experts strongly advise AGAINST viewing the solar eclipse without protective eye wear due to the high risk of eye damage from looking directly at the sun for too long (with it being completely dark, some will feel falsely safe looking directly into the sun). Many of the events have advertised having approved protective eyewear available for sale at the actual event. 

You can find a complete list of events happening in the Charleston and surrounding areas at Go Dark Charleston where you can find a countdown to the event, frequently asked questions, event locations and times, and resources for more info on the solar eclipse! This is a great resource for any questions you have about how the total solar eclipse will affect you in the Charleston area!

There are 43 events happening on the actual day of the eclipse (August 21st) all across the Charleston area with many events starting as soon as August 14th and carrying over until August 22nd. Events range from rooftop viewings with a complete package of food, drinks, and music to make your viewing experience even better to children’s events to help your littlest ones learn more about the eclipse before viewing the actual occurrence. 

While some people will want to document this rare occurrence that they will most likely not experience again in their lifetime here in Charleston, it is strongly discouraged to use a regular camera lens. There is a special lens that can be used that has a solar filter, and it is unknown how a smart phone’s camera will be effected by the direct sun exposure. So if you’re snappin’, just make sure your eyes are protected! 

Special travel and transportation instructions for the Charleston area have not yet been discussed. It is strongly advised that you factor in more time for your travel around the time of the eclipse, but public transportation systems, like Carta, have not announced any major changes as of now. 

This is sure to be the event of the year here in The Holy City! Your options for viewing are literally limitless, and the excitement is sure to be high no matter where you go!