Maybe you didn't hear about the August 21 solar eclipse in time to prepare. Maybe you were stuck inside the entire day. Maybe you just did’t care at the time—I won’t judge. The reality is there have been solar eclipses throughout history and there are more to come.
Learn about the path of the 2017 solar eclipse, coming to North Carolina on August 21.
It’s going to start getting dark in Sylva, NC, just after noon on August 21, 2017.
That’s because Sylva lies directly in the path of a once-in-a-generation natural phenomenon that will blanket the area in daytime darkness. A total solar eclipse will track across the contiguous (lower 48) United States for the first time since 1979. The last time Jackson County fell in the path of what scientists call “totality” was in the year 1506; the next total solar eclipse won’t cast a shadow on Jackson County until 2153.
North Carolina gets a front seat to the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1979. Everyone in the state will see something while a slice of western North Carolina will see a total eclipse.
Thanks to scientific observations with telescopes, satellites and mathematical calculations, we not only understand what happens during a solar eclipse but we can also predict when they will occur and where they will be seen well into the future.
That hasn’t always been the case.
Take, for example, the origin of the word eclipse. It’s derived from the ancient Greek word ekleipsis, meaning "abandonment." You get the idea. The folks back then thought the Sun had just turned off. It had, in effect, abandoned the Earth.
UNC-TV Science Week In Review: October 31, 2013