LILESVILLE — Members of the Wadesboro Rotary Club are ready to view the upcoming solar eclipse following a presentation by one of its members.
Dr. Fred Thompson made sure club members knew how to safety view, video and photograph the eclipse using specialized equipment. Thompson, who plans to travel to Columbia, South Carolina to view the eclipse in its totality, brought a variety of adult and children’s solar eclipse-viewing binoculars, camera lenses and glasses. Among the resources was a vintage LIFE Magazine issue from 1979 detailing the last total solar eclipse.
During a solar eclipse, the moon will be in front of the sun, putting a shadow on the earth. Those outside the path of totality will see a partial eclipse while those within the path will see a total eclipse.
According to NASA, the path of totality will go from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina, and viewers within that path will be able to see the sun’s corona.
While most of North America and some of South America, Africa and Europe will see a partial eclipse, only people in 14 states will get to see the total eclipse.
Thompson said that Anson County will have a 97 percent eclipse. While most of the sun will be covered, he added that viewers should still wear special glasses in order to avoid eye damage. No. 14 welders’ glasses will also work, he said.
“Never look up until you have something in place,” he said.
Thompson recommended that anyone who purchases solar lenses, binoculars or glasses practice using them before the moment of the eclipse as, when they are worn, the viewer will only see black and may have difficulty adjusting to take pictures of the eclipse. Solar filters are also available to fit on regular binoculars, he said.
Each member at the meeting received a pair of glasses to use to view the eclipse, as well as a handout with information on the upcoming and previous solar eclipses.
Thompson purchased his solar viewing equipment on Amazon, though many sites sell similar products.
In 1900, Wadesboro was in the path for a total solar eclipse, and scientists from across the globe gathered there for the special event.
To learn more about solar eclipses, the path of totality and how to safely view the eclipse, visit NASA.gov./eclipse.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.