Next total solar eclipse visible from SC not expected until 2052

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, casting its shadow on the Earth. The shadow comprises two concentric cones called the umbra and the penumbra. Observers within the smaller, central umbra see the Sun completely blocked. Within the larger penumbra, the Sun is only partially blocked. (Credits: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio)

On August 21, the United States will experience a total eclipse. South Carolina is being advertised in national media sources as the epicenter of this event due to the period of totality experienced. However, Horry County is not located along the “path of totality.”

  • 71.5 miles average width of totality across South Carolina
  • Duration of totality is expected to take place 2:38 p.m. to 2:49 p.m.
  • Two previous total solar eclipses were visible March 7, 1970 and May 28, 1900
  • Two future total solar eclipses are anticipated to be visible from South Carolina in 2052 and 2078.

Impacts on Horry County
August 21, 2017

  • Expected that the eclipse will cover 99 percent of the sun shining on Horry County, resulting in dusk or twilight conditions for one to two minutes as the eclipse nears the coastal area of the state.
  • May see increased in traffic flow along Hwy 17 and Hwy 701, especially post event
  • Should not see any impacts to infrastructure
  • Weather conditions may impact traffic volume

If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases. Remember, Horry County is not located within the path of totality. Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly.