Monday, April 10, 2017

Where Will You Be on August 21?

By Jan Hackett
Credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Come to North Georgia to Experience the Eclipse!

On August 21, 2017 there will be a total eclipse of the sun that can be seen in totality in parts of the North Georgia Mountains, including the Blue Ridge area.  In the maps above, the narrow band of totality is shown across the U.S.  Outside this path the eclipse will be visible as a partial eclipse by people in the rest of the continental U.S. This will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. in 38 year, and the next one won't take place until April 8, 2024. 

What is a Solar Eclipse?

According to NASA, a solar eclipse takes place when the moon casts a shadow on Earth, fully or partially blocking the sun's light in some areas. The total eclipse, when the sun is completely blocked by the moon, will last up to two minutes and 40 seconds, depending on your location. The lunar shadow will enter the U.S. in Oregon and totality begins at 10:16 a.m. in Lincoln City, Oregon. The total eclipse ends in Charleston S.C. at 2:48 p.m., and the lunar shadow leaves the U.S. at 4:09 p.m. 

In Georgia, the shadow of totality will follow a narrow band crossing the northeast corner of the state.
 In Blue Ridge, the partial phase of totality will begin at 1:04:55 p.m., with totality starting at 2:35:07 p.m.  The town of Blue Ridge is on the southern edge of the shadow, so totality, when the moon's shadow fully blocks the sun's light, only lasts for 35 seconds.  However north and east of Blue Ridge in Fannin County, in McCaysville and Morganton, the totality lasts longer up to 1 minute 59 seconds.
You are better off to find a place to watch that is east and north of Blue Ridge.  

Where and How to Watch

Find a clear spot with a good view of the sky.  You can see the sun and the eclipse wearing special eclipse glasses; do not look at the sun without safety glasses.  Here are some examples:

Chamber Visitor Center at 152 Orvin Lance Drive - 55 seconds of totality at 2:34:50 p.m.
Lake Blue Ridge Dam - 1 minute 2 seconds of totality at 2:34:50 p.m.
Morganton Point Recreation Area - 1 minute 8 seconds of totality at 2:34:50 p.m.
Horseshoe Bend Park in McCaysville - 1 minute 31 seconds of totality at 2:34:15 p.m.
Downtown McCaysville - 1 minute 35 seconds of totality at 2:34:10 p.m
Ocoee Whitewater Center - 1 minute 46 minutes of totality at 2:33:45 p.m.

More Information


  1. What a unique opportunity to be so close to the path of the eclipse! With just a short drive from our cabin we will be able to see this in person. Thank you for posting the details. We marked our calendar!!

  2. We are attending the Balloon race to the Atlantic from Helen, GA on June 1st 2017! Promises to be a great experience! I would like to see an article written on this event and some photos.