Total Solar Eclipse In Western NC

Total Solar Eclipse In Western NC August 21

On Monday August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will take place in the continental United States. It will be visible from West Coast to East Coast from Oregon to South Carolina. The path does include the far western section of North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also included in the path of the total solar eclipse. This is the first time in 38 years that a total eclipse has been possible to see in the continental United States. The next total solar eclipse in the continental United States will not be again until 2024. The total solar eclipse in NC will be in the far western portion of the state.This is a huge event and very exciting for North Carolina to be in the path of a total solar eclipse as well as the rest of the states that lie within the path of totality.

Total Solar Eclipse In NC August 21, 2017 Viewing

Total Solar Eclipse In NC August 21, 2017 Viewing

The time for the total eclipse portion of for the western area of the state of NC will be about 2:35PM and last about 2 1/2 minutes. The entire event will take about 3 hours from start of the partial eclipse, totality and to the end of the partial eclipse. So it will start just minutes after 1:00pm and be over about 4:00pm. But the sun being totally blocked by the moon will only last about 2 1/2 minutes from 2:35:04PM until 2:36:37PM.

On August 21, 2017 people in the path of totality will experience darkness in the middle of the afternoon for about 2 1/2 minutes. NASA has stated that those people located ” in the path of  totality will see stars and planets become visible in what is normally a sunlit sky.” The area for a total solar eclipse will happen in about a 100-mile wide corridor from Oregon across the United States toward South Carolina. Earth’s moon will pass directly between the Earth and the sun, completely blocking out the sun’s light and making it dark as night for a short period of time that afternoon. From beginning to  end in any one location the entire process will last about 3 hours. That includes both partial phases, one as it begins, totality and one as it ends.

Protect Your Eyes

No matter where you are to view this event make sure you protect your eyes. You must wear proper sunglasses to view a solar eclipse. Not all sunglass are safe to use for this type of event. Make sure the sunglasses you use to view a total eclipse are marked “Made in USA” by either Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks, TSE or American Paper Optics. This will be printed
on safe sunglasses to use “ISO 12312-2” or “ISO 12312-2:2015”. Sunglasses, eclipse shades or handheld viewers should meet the ISO safety standard. They also need to be in good condition, no tears, scratches, or  punctures.

Best Areas To View in NC Solar Eclipse

Here are some places to view the solar eclipse in NC. Some areas will be in the path of totality while other areas will have less than 100% blockage of the sun. The western section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be in the path of totality. South of the GSMNP in North Carolina other areas in the path of totality including the towns of Cherokee, Sylva, Murphy, Franklin, Cullowhee, Highlands, Fontana Dam, Robbinsville,and Wesser.

Asheville lies just north of that narrow band that will have 100% totality. The city will see a 99% solar eclipse and is just 50 miles north from the “path of totality,” where there will be a 100 percent eclipse. Asheville is having many special events but one is the Asheville’s Solar Eclipse Festival on August 21, 2017 from 12:00 noon until 3 p.m. The festival takes place in the heart of downtown Asheville in Pack Square Park. There will be music, food, eclipse related activities as well as safe eyewear to view the solar eclipse. This event is FREE!

Black Mountain is having Rock the Eclipse in Black Mountain August 19-21, 2017. Historic downtown Black Mountain will host many events all weekend long and on Monday the day of the solar eclipse. Black Mountain will experience a 98.9 percent solar eclipse.

Other towns are also having special viewing events. Sylva (in the path of totality) is having special events all weekend long and on Monday they plan a big celebration. Astronomy experts will have educational talks and demonstrations leading up to the time of the eclipse.

Dillsboro is having a family-friendly party in Monteith Park. A free shuttle will run to shops and restaurants in the small town for people to use to easily get around.

Cashiers and the nearby Gorges State Park will have three days of free activities for the eclipse.  Again arrive early because the park will close on Monday when capacity is reached. In Cashiers, the Village Green will have food trucks and live music 12-4 p.m. Monday August 24 the day of the big event.

In Downtown Bryson City just south and on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park the city turns into a huge block party Monday afternoon. There will be live music and other special events taking place.

In Cherokee, gateway of the south to the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park there will be events held. They plan to have demonstrations of Warrior Dancers, storytellers and craft demonstration at the Fairgrounds and Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Tickets will cost $25.

Best Mountains View Locations in NC
Here are some of the best places to view the solar eclipse in NC. Some of the best places in North Carolina to view the 100 percent total solar eclipse will be from high elevations like the NC mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway‘s southern end from milepost 418 to milepost 469 falls in the path of totality. Graveyard Fields, Black Balsam, Sam Knob, Devil’s Courthouse, and Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway are all in the path of totaliy. Other mountain sites in the path of totality in Western North Carolina include John Rock in Pisgah National Forest, Wayah Bald and Wesser Bald in Nantahala National Forest, and Whiteside Mountain near Cashiers. Crowds are expected so arrive early.

Central NC Eclipse Viewing

In other parts of North Carolina it will still be an interesting event to watch. From Boone there will be a 96% blockage. From Charlotte a 97% blockage. The Fayetteville area will see a 95% blockage of the sun.The Raleigh area will get a 92% blockage. The Greenville area will see a 91% blockage.  Up near the Virginia border, about 91 percent of the sun will be blocked.  on Monday August 21, 2017. In central North Carolina, the start of the eclipse will be about 1:18 p.m. with the end of the eclipse and full sun returning around 4:06 p.m. The sun will be about 60 degrees high in the sky during the time of viewing. The time for the maximum coverage in central North Carolina will be around 2:45 p.m.


Things to Remember For Safety

Wear proper eclipse viewing glasses

Due to expected crowds arrive early

Plan for heavy traffic conditions.

Expect hot weather. Wear sunscreen, hats, and other apparel for a hot humid summer day.

Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.

Do not drive and try to view the eclipse. Park only in designated parking places. You will not be able to pull over and park on the shoulder of the road or an interstate.


Here is a link to an interactive Total Solar Eclipse 2017 Map to see just where the total eclipse will occur as well as other locations close to the path.




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