While a wide swath of Tennessee is set to experience the Aug. 21 eclipse in totality, folks here in Fayetteville and Lincoln County can expect to see a partial eclipse. Still, experts tout, it will be an awesome experience.
From the vantage point of Fayetteville, the eclipse will begin at about 11:59 p.m. — reaching its maximum view at approximately 1:30 p.m. when 98 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon — and then diminishing to its end at 2:56 p.m.
That’s according to timeanddate.com, which is estimating the duration of the entire event here at 2 hours and 56 minutes, from start to finish.
The path of totality — where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere, the corona — will stretch from Lincoln Beech, Ore., to Charleston, S.C.
Here in Tennessee, 35 counties are set to experience the eclipse in its totality, and for many of those counties, businesses are preparing for a massive influx of visitors. Tennessee tourism officials are estimating as many as 1.4 million visitors coming to the state to see the eclipse.
It will be the first time portions of Tennessee have seen a total solar eclipse since 1478, and according to authorities, the next time one will take place here is 2566.
A total solar eclipse means brighter stars and planets can be seen — that is, if the weather cooperates.
The last time a total solar eclipse spanned the contiguous United States was in 1918. During that eclipse, the path of totality entered the U.S. through the southwest corner of Washington state and passed over Denver, Jackson, Miss., and Orlando before exiting the country at the Atlantic coast of Florida.
The next total solar eclipse will occur on April 8, 2024 and tract northeast from Texas to Maine, crossing the path of the 2017 eclipse near Carbondale, Ill.
Since 1503, there have been a total of 15 total solar eclipse paths that have crossed the path of the August 2017 eclipse.
Be sure and plan ahead if you’re going to make use of an indirect viewing method or watch the eclipse directly by using eclipse glasses. If the latter, be sure to check the safety authenticity of viewing glasses to ensure they meet standards.
Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard, have the manufacturer’s name and address printed on the product, and not be used if they are older than three years or have scratched or wrinkled lenses.
Also, you should not use homemade filters or substitute ordinary sunglasses, not even those with very dark lenses.