Total Solar Eclipse Guide: Tips, Info, & More

Eclipse Day is finally here! On Monday, August 21st, Charleston will have a front row seat to this country's first total solar eclipse in 26 years. Everything you need to know for the big day can be found below.

Here's some of the day's most important info:

  • Timeline
    • The partial eclipse begins at 1:17 pm and ends at 4:10 pm, with the total eclipse occurring between 2:46 pm and 2:48 pm.
  • Weather
  • Traffic
    • Expect delays throughout the day. Be patient, alert, and drive safe.
    • Use headlights during the period of darkness
    • Fill up on gas prior to the eclipse
    • Do not rely on cell phones for GPS as there may be outages
    • Leave EARLY for your chosen location
      • You are NOT allowed to pull over on the interstate during the eclipse
    • Get traffic updates at 511sc.org
  • Ravenel Bridge
    • The walking and biking path will be closed from noon to 4 pm
    • The bridge will remain open to vehicles
  • Parking Garages
    • Parking garages will be open but people won't be allowed to gather on top of them to watch the eclipse.
  • CARTA
    • CARTA will halt all service as a safety precaution for about 12 minutes during the totality from about 2:41 pm to 2:53 pm. Drivers will hand out eclipse glasses to those who would like to step off the bus and view the eclipse.
    • Delays expected between 1:17 pm - 4:10 pm
    • Visit Ridecarta.com/totalsolareclipsechs for more info
  • Events
    • Click here to see the Eclipse Event Calendar
  • Eclipse Glasses
    • Protect your eyes! Make sure you have the right protective eyewear. Sunglasses are not good enough.
    • Read safety info here.
  • Cell Phones
    • Although the eclipse itself has no effect on cell phone service, there is likely to be major congestion on cellular networks, which means you may have various service issues. Text messages will likely be the best way to communicate.
    • Avoid using data
    • 911 calls will take priority across the network, but if you are having an emergency and your calls are not going through, you can also text 911
    • For info on taking photos/video with your cell phone, click here.
  • Cameras
    • You'll likely need a special protective filter so you don't damage your camera. Click here for more info
  • Closures/Abnormal Hours
  • Boating
    • If you plan on being out on the water, consider looking at this info
    • SC DNR asks that you keep your lights on during the period of darkness
  • Trivia
    • During a total solar eclipse, the moon completely blocks the sun. Even though the sun is much larger than the moon, each looks to be about the same size when viewed from Earth
    • The last total eclipse that stretched from one end of the country to the other was 99 years ago
      • The last time a total eclipse was visible in Charleston was 47 years ago
    • The next total solar eclipse over the United States will occur in 2024
    • Partial eclipses happen more frequently

You can get more details at eclipse2017.nasa.gov

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