Eclipse is -- UH - Was Today

Uptown Clinton is packed with visitors
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ECLIPSE   On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur in 14 U.S. states. This will be the first total solar eclipse seen in the U.S. in 26 years and the first seen in the contiguous U.S. in 38 years. It will also be the first total eclipse to travel across the U.S. from coast to coast since 1918 and the first total eclipse seen only in the U.S. since before the nation's founding in 1776. was created to serve as a one-stop source of information and resources for the eclipse. The 2017 eclipse is expected to be the most witnessed solar eclipse in human history and one of the biggest news stories in years. is committed to providing accurate information and promoting safe solar eclipse viewing procedures in anticipation of this historic event.

The sun was totally eclipsed in Laurens County 

Avoiding the projected 600,000 visitors to Columbia and 2 million visitors to the Charleston area for today’s total solar eclipse, Laurens County will see the sun totally blacked out with much less congestion but with several family events nonetheless.

The Walmart parking lot in Laurens is filling up, and uptown Clinton saw a crowd start to assemble at 8 a.m. People from South Africa are at Musgrove Mill State Historic Site. People from Spain are at the Ware Shoals football stadium. The eclipse will happen between 1 and 4 pm today.

On Sunday, Pontiac car enthusiasts from all over were on the public square in Laurens from 2 to 4 p.m. for the Dark Side of the Moon Cruise-In. The public was invited to see the cars and talk to the Pontiac club members. A projection display showed everyone what a total solar eclipse will look like; the sun will be eclipsed for about 2 and 1/2 minutes on Monday, Aug. 21, in Laurens County.

The path of totality will be at the town limits of Waterloo and Cross Hill, and the total solar eclipse will be visible in Clinton, Laurens and Lake Greenwood. Partial solar eclipse will be visible in many parts of South Carolina; there are no eclipse points in Atlanta or Charlotte. 

Districts 56 and 55 have made special arrangements for car transporting and bus pick-up so students can watch the eclipse at their schools (with permission forms). Special glasses will be provided.

Pontiac club members plan to stay over in Laurens to watch Monday’s eclipse. Local campgrounds reportedly have been booked solid for several months, and at least one will show a Transformers movie during eclipse weekend for its guests. 

In uptown Clinton, the Total Eclipse on the Rails event will be this Monday, from 1 to 5 p.m. Free to the public, this will include interactive games, music, refreshments and glasses courtesy of Family Eye Care Center.

Totality viewing will be at 2:40 p.m. in uptown Clinton.

Eye experts caution, do not look at the sun without eye protection while the eclipse is in progress. During totality, take the glasses off, as it will be too dark to see anything with the glasses on. As totality wanes, put the glasses back on.

Camp Fellowship near Cross Hill also is planning a viewing, and an on-boats viewing is scheduled for Lake Greenwood.

Totality viewing at Presbyterian College will be at the Neville Fountain. A special eclipse program will be offering in the Neville lecture hall.

NASA will have specially equipped airplanes following the eclipse in its path across the U.S., from Oregon to South Carolina. Television networks plan full coverage of the eclipsed sun passing over the United States. At a state park near McClellanville, north of Charleston, the sun will be eclipsed for the last time in the United States.

On-line articles have outlined some of the weird things that will happen during a total solar eclipse. One says before the eclipse reaches totality, shadow bands will form on plain-colored surfaces. The wavy lines of light and dark, lined up in parallel rows, will undulate and move rapidly across the ground. Some experts say the shadow lines are impossible to photograph.

Also, during the partial phase, a minute or more before and after the eclipse -- when the sun looks like a crescent moon -- the colors in the landscape will appear saturated and contrast is boosted. Shadows cast through leafy trees, sometimes called anti-shadows, will appear to be hundreds of tiny crescent-shaped shadows because the gaps between leaves act like pinhole cameras.

During the total eclipse, when it is safe to look at the eclipse with the naked eye, experts say you can expect to see jets and ribbons of light in the corona, the sun’s outer atmosphere, twisting and curling out into the sky. Wildlife experts say birds return to roost and fall silent. Cicadas may stop singing and crickets may sing their night songs. Mosquitoes may come out to bite during moments when the sky darkens. A Victorian-era scientist noted during an eclipse that ants that were "busily carrying their burdens, stopped and remained motionless till the light reappeared."

Animals can become confused, and nocturnal animals may awaken and become active. Bats may take flight. A journal article published by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences reported that captive squirrels became agitated, butterflies disappeared, turtles hid, chickens huddled together and cows were “unconcerned."

Solar-powered equipment will take a brief hit, and solar-sensitive equipment set to come on at dusk may turn on. During totality, stars will be visible, as will the planets Venus, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says in ancient times, native people in Colombia shouted to the heavens, promising to work hard and mend their ways. Some worked their gardens and other projects especially hard during the eclipse to prove it. In Cambodia, in 1995, soldiers shot into the air to scare a mythic dragon from the sky. It was reported that the only scattered casualties were from bullets.

In Baja, California, in 1991, astronomers were surprised by the weeping and wailing of hotel staff, who were terrified by the onset of the darkness.

In 2010, during the annular eclipse, people stayed home, out of fear. Restaurants and hotels saw a dip in business and some schools closed when students didn’t show up.

The Almanac reports the people believe some pretty bizarre things:

-- Fog, dew, or other precipitation resulting from an eclipse has been considered dangerous. (Not true.)

-- Alaskan natives believed that the moisture and dew could cause sickness. To combat it, dishes were turned upside down and affected utensils were washed.

-- Pregnant women are sometimes warned to stay inside, not carry sharp objects, and not eat cooked food prior to an eclipse. (All superstition. Pregnant women and everyone else can do all these things before, during, and after an eclipse.)

Also, there is no truth to the rumor that Bigfoot and/or the Lizard Man of Lee County in eastern South Carolina will be inclined to make special appearances just because it’s the eclipse.

Still, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division sent out a graphic by Twitter "regarding possible paranormal activity" occurring during the solar eclipse. 

"SCEMD does not know if Lizardmen become more active during a solar eclipse. But we advise that residents of Lee and Sumter counties should remain ever vigilant."

The "Lizard Man" was first spotted in 1988 by Christopher Davis, a then 17-year-old Lee County resident, according to previous Post and Courier reports.

Davis was driving around 2 a.m. one summer morning, when he got a flat tire near Scape Ore Swamp. After he finished changing it, he claimed a "red-eyed devil" appeared about 30-yards away. Davis was able to get into his car and drive as the alleged creature jumped on the roof. He threw the thing off, but said that it was able to keep up with the car at speeds up to 40 mph. Davis's story gathered international attention and reported "Lizard Man" sightings continued up to as recently as 2015. Even two police officers said they were convinced "something is out there" after having an alleged encounter about a month after Davis's experience. 

NASA’s Scientific Visualization Center published "Sunsquatch," a graphic showing exactly where one could potentially see the eclipse and "bigfoot" at the same time. 

The Greenville Police Department warned, "If you see Bigfoot, please do not shoot" in a Facebook post last Wednesday night that linked to a 2015 video of an alleged "bigfoot" running through the field of a neighboring town. It said:

“After watching this video from nearby Boone, North Carolina, Facebook followers and friends, I think we can say with some confidence that proof of Bigfoot still eludes us. If you see Bigfoot, please do not shoot at him/her, as you'll most likely be wounding a fun-loving and well-intentioned person, sweating in a gorilla costume.”


Girl Scouts from across the Nation Experience a Solar Eclipse Destination through Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands

Greenville — And you thought Girl Scouts was all about cookies and friendship bracelets! For more than 105 years, Girl Scouts have prepared girls to empower themselves for a lifetime of leadership. We are committed to launching girls into non-traditional career fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and preparing them to succeed.  

August 19-21, through a unique partnership with NASA, Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands will host girls, aged 14-18, from around the nation for our Eyes to the Sky Destination. During the three day immersion, we will expose girls to the world of Space Science in a unique learning environment that is both fun, and experiential.  

During Eyes to the Sky, Girl Scouts will work with engineers from our area to learn about the physics of rockets, construct rockets, and launch them. They will visit the planetarium and Daniel Observatory at Roper Mountain Science Center. The Challenger Learning Center in Columbia will host the girls on Sunday so that they can experience life as an astronaut by flying a full space mission through flight simulators. Following the space mission, girls will travel to the South Carolina State Museum and Planetarium they will put their experiences to work in order to start preparing for the solar eclipse.

Day three focuses on the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse. At Camp WaBak, in Marietta, teams will build model solar eclipses and present projects to the group by demonstrating the science behind the phenomenon. The Destination culminates with the big event. Girls will pack their lunches and begin the short hike to the “solar eclipse” field where they will set up camp and prepare to view the eclipse in the path of totality.

I am including key dates, times and locations below.  Please contact me ahead of time if you want to be part of this unique experience and share it with your listeners, viewers, and readers.  

According to a Girl Scout Research Institute study (2012), though a majority of girls find STEM fields interesting (including 74 percent of teen girls), gender barriers persist: only 13 percent of girls say their first career choice would be in STEM, and 57 percent say that if they went into a STEM career, they’d have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously. In addition, extracurricular engagement in STEM among girls remains low. Only a third (36 percent) of girls who identify as having an interest in STEM report having participated in STEM activities outside school. 


Eyes to the Sky: Key Dates/Times

Saturday, August 19
2:00pm Roper Mountain Science Center: Greenville

2:00 – 2:30 Planetarium Show

2:30 – 4:30 Tour in small groups exhibits

6:15pm            Camp WaBak: Marietta

Bottle Rockets at Smith Cabin with Michelin Engineers  

Sunday, August 20
9:00am   Challenger Learning Center: Columbia

9:00 – 10:30 EV3 Robots (Programming)

10:30 – 12:00 Simulated Space Mission (Rendezvous with a Comet)

1:00pm State Museum: Columbia

1:30  - Planetarium Show

2:00 – 2:30 Telescopes

2:30 – 3:00 Observatory

3:00 – 3:30  Pin Hole camera

3:30 – 4:00  4D show


Monday, August 21

9:00am Camp WaBak: Marietta

9:00      Build your own solar eclipse

1:00 Solar Eclipse Party at Smith Cabin 

2:40      Solar Eclipse at Smith Cabin Field

7:00      Set up tents-girls plan closing Star Party


Tuesday, August 22
10:00am Camp WaBak: Marietta

10:00: Closing Star Party

My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902


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