Solar Eclipse


Solar Eclipse

by Liza Roberts

If you missed your chance to barbecue on Memorial Day or shoot fireworks on the Fourth, Solar Eclipse 2017 is your chance for a serious summer party.

As you may have heard, on Aug. 21, for the first time in 99 years, a total eclipse of the sun will traverse the continental United States. Starting in the Pacific Northwest and traveling southeast, the eclipse will dramatically darken the skies for a handful of minutes along a narrow, swooping path across 11 states including North Carolina. 

Though we’re closer to the action than most, Raleigh does not fall within the 70-mile-wide “path of totality” that will experience a total blackout. Still, our skies will dim dramatically for about three minutes at 2:45 p.m., when the moon’s shadow covers about 93 percent of the sun, something that hasn’t happened here since 1970.

A nifty online simulator created by Google and U.C. Berkeley ( can give you a sense of what our sky – or that of any zip code – will look like at different times that day. If you plan to check it out, you have to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes. They can be found at

For a list of solar eclipse parties being held in the Carolinas, click here