I imagine by now you have heard there’s a total solar eclipse happening on Monday, August 21, 2017 in South Carolina and several other states in the U.S. While it won’t quite be a total solar eclipse in Rock Hill, it will be pretty close (99%). You might be wondering why people are so excited about this eclipse. Well that is because the last transcontinental eclipse in the U.S. (that stretched from coast-to-coast) was in 1918, 99 years ago! The last total solar eclipse that occurred in the U.S. was 38 years ago, but it was only visible in five northwestern states. This National Geographic article explains it well: “Total eclipse occurs every one or two years, while total and partial eclipses together average about two and a half incidences per year. But because they are visible from such a small area on Earth each time, the chance of observing a total eclipse from any single spot is less than once in a lifetime.”
If you plan on viewing the eclipse, please make sure you are wearing the proper protective eyewear (no, sunglasses don’t count). Some organizations on campus will be handing out protective eclipse glasses on the DIGs Campus Green starting at 1:00 p.m. on August 21st. This will be a good spot to view the eclipse with other classmates, faculty and staff before opening convocation at 3:30 p.m.
In an effort to fuel more learning and discussion about the eclipse, Dacus Library will be showing the NASA eclipse live stream “Eclipse Across America” from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in our Electronic classroom on the ground floor (basement). Just look for the room to the left at the bottom of the main stairwell. At noon the eclipse preview show will be hosted in Charleston, SC. The NASA eclipse website says the four hour live stream will provide viewers with “a wealth of images captured before, during, and after the eclipse by 11 spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft, more than 50 high-altitude balloons, and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station – each offering a unique vantage point for the celestial event.”
Anyone and everyone is welcome to come drop by and watch! Some lights snacks will be provided as well.
For more information on the solar eclipse, check out these resources:
- NASA’s solar eclipse 2017 website
- South Carolina State Library LibGuide
- National Weather Service eclipse page