Astronomy fans travel from Charlotte area to witness eclipse in SC

Astronomy fans travel from Charlotte area to witness eclipse in SC

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTV) - People started filing into hotels in Columbia, South Carolina area Sunday. Many hope to get the best view possible of the solar eclipse Monday afternoon.

Spencer Rackley IV said he booked hotel rooms at the Hyatt Place hotel in Irmo, South Carolina two years in advance. Rackley is a member of the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club and plans to witness his fourth solar eclipse Monday.

"We're extremely excited. This will be my fourth one, but every last one of them is as exciting as the next," said Rackley.

He said he will be using three different cameras and three different telescopes while viewing the eclipse. He encourages the public to travel to see the phenomenon if they can.

"Go to an eclipse, you will not regret it," said Rackley. "The drama of it is kind of like seeing God. That's how dramatic it is."

Thousands of others have made the same trek that Rackley has made.  Bob Cavenaugh, who lives in Gastonia, also traveled further south to see the spectacle.

"This will be my third one in the last 20 years and I'm hoping that this will be the best one," said Cavenaugh.

Cavenaugh is a member of the Belmont Astronomical Society and hopes the skies will be clear for the eclipse.

"The high clouds are not too bad, but we don't want a big black one to sit over totality for two and a half minutes," said Cavenaugh. He said weather will be the biggest concern Monday.

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