Eclipse Viewing Events Abound Along SC's Hammock Coast

For everyone else who isn't within the path - like residents in MA - only a partial eclipse will be visible when the moon passes between the earth and the sun.

The first total solar eclipse visible from the USA mainland since 1979, and the first where totality will sweep across the continent in 99 years, the upcoming eclipse is causing quite a stir.

On August 21st, the great American eclipse will descend upon the United States, casting its shadow from coast to coast for the first time since 1918.

"It's going to traverse the entire pass of the United States", Kopernik Observatory Executive Director Drew Deskur said. The path of totality will stretch across 12 states in an almost-70-mile-wide swath, starting in OR and ending in SC.

An eclipse website, called Mr Eclipse, says that the most specular moment of the eclipse is the totality when the moon obscures the sun.

The path of totality - where the sky will get dark enough to see the stars - will sweep across the country from OR in the west starting at 10:15 a.m. PDT (12:15 CDT) to SC in the east, ending at 2:45 p.m., EDT (1:45 p.m. CDT).

Oh, and more thing, and this is critically important: do NOT attempt to look at the sun during the eclipse, even when we have totality. But there are plenty of safe ways to watch the eclipse, including special-purpose solar filters, such as "eclipse glasses" or handheld solar viewers. Regular sunglasses are not safe to view the eclipse. They'll bear a tiny picture of a globe with the letters "ISO", the initials CE and a statement that reads, "Conforms to and meets the Transmission Requirements of ISO 12312-2". Those who pay admission for the solar eclipse viewing event at Kopernik Observatory will be provided glasses. A total solar eclipse is unique in our solar system since no other planets, except Earth, have eclipses where the apparent size of the sun and the planet's moon appear of equal size.

'Our goal is as they come, what better way than to show them that the creator who put the sun and the moon and the stars up there, wants a relationship with them, ' he said.

Historically, solar eclipses were interpreted by early cultures as portents of doom, or bad omens.

Eclipse glasses are a must as "looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse ('totality'), when the moon entirely blocks the sun's bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality", according to NASA. This program, for customers of all ages, will provide information about eclipses and prepare participants for viewing of the eclipse on August 21.

No other country but the USA will be privy to the path of totality.

However, scammers are also taking advantage of the business opportunities by selling fake glasses that will not protect your eyes.

The path of totality only affects 17 utility-scale solar PV generators, mostly in eastern Oregon. Buying inadequate glasses, the group says, could lead to serious eye damage.

In case you haven't heard, it's not safe to look directly at the sun.

If you already have a viewer from that list, make sure it isn't more than three years old and does not have wrinkles or scratches. Faherty said that it takes a few hours for the moon to pass completely across the sun, and it's fun to gather with like-minded eclipse chasers for the suspenseful hour before it reaches maximum eclipse - the period when the moon is blocking as much of the sun as possible given your geographical location.