August 21,2017

A total eclipse of the Sun. The first one since February 26,1979. The first major one in North America since Mary 7,1970.  And the first one since 1776 that has a totality path that lies completely within the united states. And Murphy, North Carolina is a prime location to watch it.

What has been described as a “quirk of cosmic geometry”, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets between the Earth and the Sun, and the moon casts a shadow over the earth. The suns diameter is four hundred times larger than the moon. However, the moon itself is four hundred times closer to Earth than the sun. There is a total eclipse on average every 18 months, but they are not always easy to view. The earth is mostly covered by water, and what eclipses do occur over land often times occur over less populated areas. Next year’s Eclipse path will directly cross over 12 million, but an estimated 220 million people will live within a day’s drive of it.

The difference between a partial solar eclipse and a full one was quoted as,” the difference between viewing a partial eclipse and experiencing a total one is the difference between almost dying and dying.” If you are viewing a partial solar eclipse, you will be only able to tell it is happening with special eye protection. With the right eye wear, you can watch the moon moving slowly across the face of the sun. But It’s not anything particularly special.

If you’re in the path of totality, you’ll see the shrinking sliver of the sun and visually everything will seep sharper and clearer, even though it’s darker. Then the temperature drops, the birds start to roost, and the evening insects come out to prepare for sunset. The sky will get a deeper and darker blue and the sun sliver starts to get small enough that you can almost see it shrinking through your glasses.

It’s hard to explain what it’s going to be like. And for perfect solar eclipse viewing, you’ll need cloud free skies. And protective eye gear is a must! You can still damage your eyes during a solar eclipse. The experts recommend not trying to MacGyver gear yourself. There is cheap eye protection available for purchase all over the internet. Find a large open area that is either public land, or get permission to hang out if it’s privately owned. Bring food, drinks, sunblock, and good friends to watch this once in a lifetime celestial event.

The fact that Murphy will be one of the best places to watch this spectacular solar eclipse is only one reason to visit. Murphy is a land of mountains, lakes, and fantastic people. Visit once, and you won’t want to leave.