The upcoming solar eclipse will provide those in the Upstate with a rare glimpse of the alignment of the sun, moon and Earth. The last coast-to-coast solar eclipse in the United States was in 1918.
South Carolina lies right in the line that stretches from Charleston to the coast of Oregon where the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the best viewing of the eclipse will be. That line crosses right over a large section of the Upstate.
“Solar eclipses themselves are not rare, but the chance of having one pass over where you live is really special,” said Amber Porter, a lecturer in the department of physics and astronomy in the College of Science at Clemson.
For those of us in the region, the eclipse is expected to start becoming visible at around 1:09 p.m., according to NASA. The maximum eclipse will begin at around 2:37 p.m. and lasting for a little more than two minutes.
Because the event is so rare, there are several places in the Upstate hosting watch parties and viewings. Here is a list of some hosts, according to NationalEclipse.com, the American Astronomical Society:
Southern Wesleyan University
Gilbert Track and Field Complex
215 Clayton St., Central
Gates will open at noon at SWU for Eclipse over Pickens County. The event is free, however parking is on a first-come, first-served basis with premium parking costing $10. The eclipse will be displayed on the large video scoreboard on the track for safe viewing.
Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Center
The university will have “tailgazing” on campus. Nearly 900 spaces will be available for $50 each. The university will provide five pairs of solar glasses.
Furman University is hosting a free viewing of the total solar eclipse at Paladin Stadium from 12:30-3:30 p.m. The event includes streaming coverage from NASA, narration by Furman scientists and educational activities.
Bob Jones University
1700 Wade Hampton Blvd.
Students in seventh-12th grades, their parents/guardians and schools, are invited to campus for hands-on science activities and fun, interactive observation. Get a free pair of solar eclipse glasses for viewing the sun safely.
Laurens County Library
1017 W. Main St.
The library is registered with the Space Science Institute to hold a lawn viewing of the eclipse.
Children’s Museum of the Upstate
300 College St.
The museum will feature live streams from NASA and the Smithsonian as well as provide pinhole projectors and moon phase activities. Activities are free with museum admission.
Lighthouse Keowee Restaurant
1290 State Road
The Atlanta Outdoor Club will host an eclipse viewing event in Seneca. Cost of the event is free.
Blackout at Green Pond
470 Green Pond Road
Green Pond’s unobstructed view-shed is to the southwest, where the eclipse will occur. There will be an astronomer on-site during the event to provide information and answer questions. The event is free of charge.
EclipseFest, a boat social celebration, will begin at 1 p.m. on Lake Greenwood. The event will be offshore near Camp Fellowship & Conference Center.
Ninety Six National Historic Site
1103 S.C. Highway 248
The visitor center will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and viewing will be held at Star Fort Pond. Telescopes will be permitted and reservations are free by calling 864-543-4068.
A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School
420 Westfield St.
A. J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering will welcome students, parents and the community for this family friendly celebration and solar eclipse viewing. There will be fun and educational activity stations for elementary students to learn more about the eclipse and the interactions of the sun, moon and Earth.