Solar Eclipse 2017: See the Total Solar Eclipse in North Carolina
How to see the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 + Eclipse Map
Asheville, North Carolina, is just a short drive away from this summer's most stunning natural phenomenon. Western N.C. is one of the few areas in the United States that will see a total solar eclipse this August. The 2017 event marks the first time since 1979 that a total solar eclipse will be visible in the continental U.S.
In a solar eclipse, the moon passes directly between the sun and the earth. The moon casts a shadow that moves across the earth's surface creating a "path of totality."
For areas within this narrow path, the air will cool as complete darkness falls in the middle of the day for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds. The moon will block the sun, revealing the sun’s rarely seen shimmering corona or “crown.”
Asheville will experience a 99% eclipse at approximately 2:37 p.m. EDT on August 21, 2017. The path of the totality passes through nearby Jackson, Swain, and Graham counties (about 50-70 miles from Asheville). In these areas, the eclipse will reach totality at approximately 2:35 p.m. EDT.
Changes in the sky will begin around 1 p.m. and extend through 4 p.m. It is recommended you arrive at your eclipse viewing location by noon.
Map of the 2017 total solar eclipse in North Carolina
During totality is the only time it is safe to look at the sun with the naked eye. The only safe way to look at the uneclipsed or partially-eclipsed sun is through special glasses or goggles with a built-in solar filter.
Asheville is the largest city near the path of totality in Western North Carolina. The city is convenient to areas that will experience the eclipse and a great destination to spend the weekend of August 18-20.
While in town, you’ll be amidst one of the nation’s top cultural, culinary, and music scenes. Stroll the streets of the booming downtown, cool off with a drink at one of nearly 30 breweries, or explore Biltmore, America’s largest home.
On the day of the eclipse (August 21), from noon-3 p.m., the Asheville Museum of Science, UNC Asheville and Asheville City Schools co-host Asheville's Solar Eclipse Festival in Pack Square Park. Enjoy fun, eclipse-related activities, including food, music and games for the whole family.
Photo credits: Total solar eclipse sequence by Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel; map of the path of totality of the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse in North Carolina by Michael Zeiler / GreatAmericanEclipse.com; eclipse glasses by Paul Deans / TravelQuest International.