(WBTV) - In Part 1, I discussed the basics of a Solar Eclipse and urged all of you to make plans to head into the path of totality which will be cutting across South Carolina and the extreme western tip of North Carolina on Monday afternoon August 21st.
However, I realize not all of you will be able to travel. So, in this blog I want to give you the tools to help you understand exactly when and where the total eclipse will occur. In addition, I will provide you all the information you will need if staying home and only seeing the partial eclipse.
Probably the best map I've seen is actually a video showing the shadow cutting across the entire United States. When you play this video, skip ahead to our region. As you watch the shadow move across the Carolinas note the time in the upper left corner, it is adjusted for local time. For example, the leading edge of the total eclipse shadow hits the NC state line at 2:33pm.
Also, note the duration of the total eclipse. Here it reads 2m 39s, but this assumes you are on the center line of the shadow. The duration of the total eclipse decreases as your location moves away from the center line, so if you're going, try and set up as close to the center line as possible.
Here is the video map: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4515
Now, what if you can't drive to the total eclipse path? Check out this next map; I've attached a sample to this blog. Here you can zoom in then click on any point of the map to get all the information you need about what you'll see. Using the attached map as an example, I clicked on Gastonia. Now in the data box that appears you will see the start/maximum/end of the partial eclipse.
No total eclipse here of course.
The times are in Universal time, so subtract four (4) hours to convert to local EDT. In this case, the time of maximum eclipse is 18:40:39s UTC or 14:40:39s local time (i.e. 2:40pm). Also, note in the upper right where it says: Magnitude at maximum: .97966. That's telling you the maximum eclipse will reach 97.9% coverage, just about 98%.
Here is the link to the interactive map: http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/TSE_2017_2024_GoogleMapFull.html
Keep in mind, at no point should you look at the sun without approved eclipse glasses (NOT SUN GLASSES!). Permanent eye damage will result.
In subsequent blogs, I will talk about how to view safely, events, online interactive activities, travel, even how to participate in science research that will be taking place!