4 Best Places in Charleston to Watch the Solar Eclipse

  • Friday, November 1, 2013

The solar eclipse taking place November 3, 2013 will appear over Charleston at sunrise and last from approximately 6:40 a.m. to 7:07 a.m. This rare hybrid eclipse will only be visible with a completely clear horizon – city skyline will obstruct view.

The eclipse is called a “hybrid” eclipse because it will be partly annular – an eclipse that shows the sun’s circumference around the moon – and partly total – an eclipse during which the sun is completely blocked by the moon.

College of Charleston astronomy instructor Terry Richardson highlights the best places to see the entire eclipse – with a solar eclipse-viewing filter provided by the College (pick one up by 5 p.m. Friday at the Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center room 101, 58 Coming St.).

1. The Ravenel Bridge.

The bridge may be a little windy for comfort, but the high elevation and eastward view over the water provides an ideal vantage point for the rising eclipse.

2. The Holiday Inn Charleston – Riverview.

This round hotel sits about as close as it gets to the Ashley River. Stand outside the building facing east for the best view.

3. Isle of Palms, Folly or Sullivan’s Island beaches.

The local beaches are among the eastern-most points in Charleston, and will provide an unhindered outlook to watch the eclipse.

4. On the water.

Have a boat or a friend with a boat? Get on the water Sunday morning to see the eclipse up close.

Richardson also recommends not staring at the eclipse without protective eyewear, and if you’re commuting to your viewing destination, leave with plenty of time to spare. The total portion of the eclipse won’t last more than a few minutes, and total eclipses are the only chance to see the “solar corona” – the heat-warped light around the sun.

Photographing the eclipse from any of these locations is as easy as photographing any sunrise or sunset, just keep your camera still and take photos in intervals of two-to-three minutes.

For more information, contact Terry Richardson at richardstont@cofc.edu.

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