RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The afternoon of August 21 will be a time to remember for stargazing fans nationwide, as the entire continental U.S. will be able to observe most of a total solar eclipse — the first of its kind to darken American skies since 1918.
The Triangle and its nearby cities will fall outside of the eclipse’s direct line of sight, as its path winds from northern Oregon to central South Carolina, moving through the Midwest and parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, and a small region of North Carolina’s mountains.
However, aspiring astronomers in the Raleigh area shouldn’t worry about missing out on the chance to see the event, which has been dubbed the Great American Eclipse by fans.
The capital city and Durham are both expected to be able to observe about 92 percent of the moon obscuring the sun, while Chapel Hill and Goldsboro will reach about 93 percent and Fayetteville will reach 95 percent.
Tools to learn about what the eclipse experience will be like have been developed by science fans and released for free on the Web, including Google’s Eclipse Megamovie site, where observers can contribute to a documentation project and simulate how it will appear in their area, and Xavier Jubier’s eclipse map, where users can pinpoint exactly how much of the eclipse they’ll be able to see from their location anywhere in the country.
NASA recommends using proper protective eyewear, including ISO approved eclipse glasses or handheld solar filters, to view any partial eclipse. The administration also advises against looking at the sun through cameras, telescopes, or other unfiltered lenses to view the event, as these can cause serious injury.
For more information about the Great American Eclipse, check out NASA’s website on the event.