Do you have your NASA approved glasses? At 2:46pm on Monday, August 21st, Charleston will experience a total eclipse of the sun. For a minute and 40 seconds. Try not to be stuck in traffic when it happens.
6th Grade Science
A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth passes between the moon and sun, casting its shadow over the moon. These can be seen anywhere on the side of earth where it’s night, and can last over an hour. A solar eclipse is when the moon itself travels between the earth and sun, blocking the sun from view. Only those directly in its path will get to see the full show, and usually only for a few seconds. Charleston will get to see this one for a minute and 40 seconds.
Why this one is a BFD
Because so many people will get to see it. This is the first total solar eclipse in the US since 1979, and the Path of Totality is crossing the entire country. There will be another one in 2024, but not nearly as many places will be in its path. These only occur in the same place once every 375 years, and Charleston is the last stop as this one passes over the US. A total solar eclipse is the holy grail of celestial events. Your friend who loves space is pretty freaking amped.
All the feels
A lot of the country will get to see a partial solar eclipse, meaning a portion of the sun will be covered. Still cool. But for those of us in the Path of Totality, the sun will be completely hidden by the moon, and the usually invisible corona – the sun’s upper atmosphere – can be seen. It will look like a yellow ring around a black sun. You will be able to see stars and planets. Look for Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. The temperature will drop significantly, and birds and animals will go quiet. It’s going to be rad, get ready.