10 Things You Should Know About the Total Solar Eclipse

Charleston is in the path of totality, which means we’re some of the lucky ones who will see the moon totally block the sun as it passes between the orbit of the Earth and the sun. And that means we will experience twilight during the middle of the day. It will grow dark and cooler, and you’ll be able to see the sun’s corona, the outermost layer of the sun’s atmosphere. Those who have seen a total eclipse describe it in mystical terms. You will not want to miss this.

Depending on your viewing spot in Charleston, you could experience totality for 90 to 120 seconds beginning at about 2:45 p.m. Check out the time at your coordinates on this interactive map by NASA: eclipse2017.nasa.gov.

But you’ll want to start looking up at the sky a little after 1 p.m. when the moon will first appear to take a bite out of the sun.

Charleston County schools are closed on Aug. 21 for the eclipse.

WARNING: Do not look directly at the sun until the moon totally blocks it. If you haven’t already ordered your protective glasses, do it now. Experts expect a shortage. You can buy them at www.eclipse2017.org or www.greatamericaneclipse.com.

You can look at the sun without glasses during the 90 to 120 seconds of totality.

You should not attempt to take photos without special filters on your camera. Even if you do have special filters, experienced eclipse viewers say it is nearly impossible for a camera to capture the spectacular show of light during the totality. Instead, they say to savor the moment with all your senses so you can remember it for the rest of your life.

You can take pictures or video of how people around you are reacting so you’ll remember the emotion of the moment.

NASA’s headquarters for its national broadcast coverage of the eclipse will be at the College of Charleston. The broadcast will be streamed on NASA TV, the NASA website at www.nasa.gov/eclipselive and public broadcasting stations beginning at 1 p.m.

Charleston will be the last place in the United States to see the total eclipse before the path goes over the Atlantic.