The Solar Eclipse 2017 4

Teacher Julie Guthrie Sheds Some Light on the Dark

With NASA predicting an influx of over one million visitors to the Charleston area, the solar eclipse of 2017 will be a breathtaking phenomenon; one that shouldn’t be missed.

On August 21, the eclipse will travel over Charleston, lasting approximately two minutes and thirty seconds. In preparation for it, and to kick off the 2017/2018 school year, we reached out to science teacher Julie Guthrie at Mount Pleasant’s Cario Middle School to discuss the science behind the upcoming spectacular event.

“A total eclipse occurs when the new moon orbits directly between earth and the sun and blocks the sun’s rays,” Guthrie explains, “As a result, it casts a shadow on parts of earth.”

Surprisingly, most believe that a solar eclipse is extremely rare. However, they occur about once or twice a year, somewhere on earth.

“It depends on where someone lives that determines if they can see an eclipse,” Guthrie says.

This year it’s going to be directly over Mount Pleasant. On August 21st, the eclipse will make its path from Oregon, traveling over Wyoming, St. Louis and then Charleston, SC.

“What is so cool about this eclipse is that its path will be directly over the United States, occurring directly over Charleston. It will be one of the best places to view the eclipse in the southeast,” says Guthrie.

It’s important to take safety measures to protect the eyes from retinal burns and Guthrie cautions one to do so when viewing the eclipse.

“There are special eclipse glasses being sold throughout the community. You’ll definitely want to wear them if you’re going to view it.”

Daniel Rossman, a local hotel revenue analyst says, “We have seen a strong demand for the event during an otherwise low demand period for leisure travelers.”

Many area hotels and venues are offering special eclipse packages that are worth checking out. The website, Go Dark Charleston has information on lodging and viewing.

Locals and tourists alike should take some caution as far as driving during the eclipse.

“Even the simplest of errands could pose a problem. Be prepared to stay home, have your eclipse glasses ready and review the safety procedures on how to appropriately watch the eclipse,” Guthrie says.

With the occurrence of day becoming night and the expected one million visitors to our community, it could pose a driving hazard for business and the students on them. Guthrie is looking forward to experiencing the celestial happening.
“Most teachers see this as a great learning opportunity for our students. it will be an amazing teachable moment. I encourage everyone to kick off the school year this way—we are directly in the path of an unforgettable experience that will get anyone, of any age, excited about science.”